Post image for Elizabeth Edwards advised to end cancer treatment

Elizabeth Edwards advised to end cancer treatment

by Jorge Hernandez on December 7, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, who has been battling cancer since 2004, announced on Monday that doctors have advised her not to continue treatment for the disease and that she may just have weeks to live.

Edwards has been a prominent public figure ever since her husband's two runs at the White House in 2004 and 2008. However, the couple separated after he admitted to having an extramarital affair with a campaign worker that produced a child. Throughout this time, Edwards was forthcoming about her struggles with the disease, even chronicling the difficulties of losing her hair and frank discussions with her three children.

The decision not to further her cancer treatments comes after doctors say the disease has spread to her liver. Three years ago she announced that the cancer had spread to her bones. Doctors say that while chemotheraphy may be able to limit the spread of the disease, the decision to end treatment likely stems from the fact that she may not be strong enough for it to do any good. Patients in similar conditions typically do not survive past 6 to 12 months, experts say. Reports indicate that she is surrounded by her kids, as well as her husband, and that she is not in pain.

"When someone in the breast cancer community relapses, we all feel it," breast cancer survivor Jody Schoger told USA Today. "I'm seeing many survivors responding on Twitter to the news. I feel terrible for her children and hope they are surrounded with love and caring by their friends and family."

In recent years, Edwards has become a fierce advocate for healthcare reform and has even served as an advisor to President Barack Obama on the issue since he took office in 2008.

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