Edwards' decision to stop treatment hits home for many

WYNNEWOOD, PENNSYLVANIA; December 7, 2010

When word came Elizabeth Edwards had decided to stop treatment, doctors said she most likely only had weeks or months to live. Hours before her death, Action News spoke with a local expert about that decision.

It was sad and surprising news that Elizabeth Edwards was stopping cancer treatment.

And it seems to have hit home for many people.

On a Facebook page for prayers, there are hundreds of comments.

One breast cancer patient wrote, "I've always admired your strength as you faced adversity and have been inspired by you as I continue on my journey."

Dr. Marisa Weiss, a radiation oncologist at Lankenau Hospital and founder of breastcancer.org.

She has worked with Edwards in the past, and recalls her as, "A pleasure to work with, a lovely person, very articulate and wanted to be a champion for women."

Edwards was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 when her husband was running for vice president.

Then it came back in 2007 when her husband was campaigning to be president.

Cancer had spread to her bones. It could be controlled but not cured. Shortly after learning this, Edwards learned of her husband's infidelities.

Dr Weiss says the decision to stop treatment comes when the benefits no longer outweigh the side effects.

It is a difficult decision for anyone, and seems particularly sad for Edwards.

"We know how hard her life has been, we know she wants to be there for her kids in the long run, and she obviously also has a complex personal situation," says Dr. Weiss.

In her final message on her Facebook page, Edwards wrote, she is grateful for her family, friends and the power of hope.

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