Breast Cancer Breakthroughs

Better surgeries, less radiation, and new drugs are changing treatments and offering hope

In 1811, Nabby Adams, daughter of President John Adams and Abigail Adams, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Brave Nabby submitted to a mastectomy without anesthesia in her parents’ home. The doctor successfully removed her tumor, but the cancer reappeared, and she died two years later, at age 48.

Two centuries later, in 2002, Chicagoan Jan Kallish also was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a markedly different experience. Kallish underwent a lumpectomy, four chemotherapy treatments, and six weeks of radiation therapy. She also spent five years taking two different hormone therapies. (Read more…)