Politics and Cancer

CURE, Summer 2007, Volume 6, Issue 4

Elizabeth Edwards and Tony Snow.

As the 2008 presidential race gears up, a number of survivors in the political limelight have gone public. Elizabeth Edwards, 57, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, first revealed her breast cancer diagnosis shortly after the 2004 presidential election. Less than four years later, the Edwardses held a press conference in March to announce her cancer was back, and had spread to her bones. The couple announced John would continue the presidential race, a decision that sparked debate among survivors, as well as the general public and political pundits.

Less than a week after the Edwardses’ disclosure, White House press secretary Tony Snow announced his colon cancer had returned and spread to his liver. Five weeks after surgery, the 51-year-old returned to his job and is now undergoing chemotherapy. Snow, who was a teenager when his 38-year-old mother died of colon cancer, was first diagnosed in 2005.

Also on the political front, Republican presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani and John McCain are survivors of prostate cancer and melanoma, respectively. And former Republican Senator and Law and Order actor Fred Thompson, who is now considering entering the presidential race, disclosed in April that he’s a two-year lymphoma survivor.