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Edwards begins first phase of treatment

Breast cancer did not spread, family aide says

WASHINGTON -- Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards, has begun chemotherapy to shrink a half-dollar-sized lump in her breast. Doctors found no sign the cancer had spread, a family spokesman said yesterday.

After 16 weeks of chemotherapy, Edwards will take a four- to six-week break.

Georgetown University Medical Center doctors who are treating Edwards will then surgically remove the lump.

A needle biopsy of Edwards's lymph nodes Tuesday found ''no indication of cancer," spokesman David Ginsberg said. ''From what we know now, it has not spread."

As a safety precaution, however, doctors will remove some of her healthy lymph node tissue. Edwards will then undergo radiation.

The mood at the Edwards household was upbeat.

Well-wishers have written to say ''they know she's strong and she's going to fight through this and their thoughts and prayers are with her," Ginsberg said.

Edwards, 55, said she discovered the lump in October while campaigning. She said she had not gotten a mammogram in recent years. She was diagnosed with invasive ductal cancer, the most common type of breast cancer, which can spread from milk ducts to other parts of the breast.

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