The Last Resort

A controversial breast-cancer therapy pits women against insurers

Tawnya Geisbush wakes up every day fighting two battles--one against breast cancer, the other against her insurance company. It's hard to say which is the more stubborn opponent.

Geisbush, 32, a veterinarian from Phoenix, Ariz., was recently found to be suffering from metastatic breast cancer, an especially aggressive malignancy that had already ranged well beyond the site of the original disease. Eventually she and her doctors agreed they should attack the advancing cancer with what many people believe is the most potent weapon available: high-dose chemotherapy accompanied by a transplant of stem cells, precursors of disease-fighting immune-system cells.

No sooner...

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