Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer is back, in an incurable but treatable form. However, the couple announced Thursday that the campaign would go on. John Edwards called his wife the most unselfish woman he has ever met, and said that when she received the news her first thoughts, after their children, were of John and the American people.

Elizabeth said there are others in America in “real desperate shape,” and indicated that her husband’s campaign has never been motivated by ego. She said it is crucial that “we get this election right.”

New York Times:

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., March 22 — John Edwards, the Democratic candidate for president, said today that his wife Elizabeth Edwards was once again suffering from breast cancer, this time in an incurable form. But in a joint news conference, he and Mrs. Edwards expressed confidence that the disease could be managed with treatment, and that there would be no interruption in his campaign for the Democratic nomination. Mrs. Edwards said she was in little pain, and that she was maintaining a positive attitude and a full schedule of appearances on behalf of her husband’s candidacy. “I expect to do next week all the things I did last week,” she said at the midday news conference, conducted in a courtyard at the inn on the campus of the University of North Carolina where the Edwardses held their wedding reception 30 years ago this summer. The scene was tense before the couple appeared shortly after noon Eastern time to make their announcement. Word began to circulate late Wednesday evening that Mrs. Edwards had received dire medical news, prompting speculation that Mr. Edwards would suspend his campaign or abandon it entirely to be by her side as she underwent another round of cancer treatment. Mr. Edwards, who served one term in the United States Senate representing North Carolina and was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2004, is considered a top-tier candidate for the presidency in 2008. Although he has generally been placing third in national polls behind Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, he is running strong in Iowa, which holds the first nominating contest of the campaign next January.

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