THE FIRST FAMILY: Betty Ford: Facing Cancer

Gerald Ford was deep in preparations for the last of his series of economic summits Thursday morning when his wife Betty stopped in at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center in nearby Maryland for a routine medical checkup. The examination soon developed into a searing personal and family concern. There was a nodule in her right breast. To determine if it was malignant, an operation would be necessary. The Fords wasted no time deciding: Betty would return late the next day to prepare for the exploratory surgery—and the answer that every woman fears....

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