Heinz Kerry says she has breast cancer

Senator John Kerry, with his wife, Teresa. Senator John Kerry, with his wife, Teresa. (David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/File 2008)
By Glen Johnson
Associated Press / December 23, 2009

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

  • E-mail|
  • Print|
  • Reprints|
  • |
Text size +

Teresa Heinz Kerry said she is being treated for breast cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital and will undergo radiation next month.

Heinz Kerry, 71, said doctors discovered she had cancer in her left breast in September during her annual mammogram. She is the wife of US Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.

In early October, she underwent lumpectomies on both breasts at a Washington hospital after doctors also discovered what they thought was a benign growth on her right breast.

That diagnosis was initially confirmed in postoperative pathology, but two other doctors later found it to be malignant. In November, Heinz Kerry had another pair of lumpectomies performed at Mass General.

Doctors also inserted titanium clips, and next month she will receive five days of targeted radiation aimed at improving her odds of a successful treatment to 95 percent. She said she is undecided about follow-up medicinal treatments that could raise her survival odds to 99 percent, given her age and the side effects.

Her surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital was the one she recommended to Elizabeth Edwards, who found out she had breast cancer just as her husband, former Senator John Edwards, was concluding his stint as Kerry’s vice presidential running mate in the 2004 elections.