News that Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer had returned set off speculation yesterday that her husband, John Edwards, would suspend his presidential campaign. The couple announced in a joint news conference that he would continue.

The New York Times reports on public reaction, noting that in “interviews, and more than 500 reader postings to The Caucus, The New York Times’s national political blog, a major dividing point in how people reacted to the Edwardses’ decision was their experience with cancer in themselves or a loved one.”

In this Washington Post story, Elizabeth Edwards’ friends discuss her strength and said it was likely her decision to press on.

In a separate story, the Washington Post looks at the “new face” of cancer. Jocelyn Noveck writes:

Just two decades ago, a breast cancer diagnosis was something a patient likely wouldn’t share beyond close family and friends. Even the word “cancer” was barely spoken out loud. And no wonder: It raised immediate thoughts of a death sentence

So when Elizabeth Edwards greeted the waiting media with a smile, a frank account of her worsening illness and a declaration that her life would go on exactly as before, it was an important reminder to many in the cancer community of how far things had come — and how people like Edwards are representing a new face of the disease.

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