My health is holding steady, Edwards says

Elizabeth Edwards said Wednesday that her health is “no worse” than 18 months ago, when she and her husband announced that her cancer had returned in an incurable form.

The wife of two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said medical scans this week showed no signs that her condition has worsened. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, but was declared cancer-free after treatment. She said last year that the cancer had returned and spread to her bone.

“Those who gave me a calendar in March of 2007 are going to have to revise their dates,” Edwards said with a smile during a round-table discussion of health care in Carrboro, near her home.

Once breast cancer spreads to the bone, it's no longer curable. Doctors and treatment can keep it in check for years unless the tumor is aggressive.

Edwards returned to the public stage this month, weeks after her husband publicly admitted to an extramarital affair.

She plans to campaign against the health care policies of Republican presidential nominee John McCain until the election. She supports mandatory universal health coverage while McCain supports free-market policies and a tax break to help drive down the cost of care.

“What I'm really glad about is that I still have a seat at the table to talk about health care – that I have the strength to do it and that I also have a seat at the table,” Edwards said.

Edwards has made health care her life's work since the cancer diagnosis, and her personal memoir takes readers into the intimate moments of her battle with the disease. She aided her husband in putting together his health care proposal and has criticized both presidential nominees for their policies.