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The Cancer Gap

No two cancers are alike. But what will it take to give every patient equal care?

Last year, a week before Thanksgiving, Marcia Stiefel was backing out of her driveway in Bismarck, N.D., when her left side went weak. “I noticed I didn’t have peripheral vision,” she says. And after she overshot the drive and hit a fence, twice, she asked her son to drive her to the hospital.

She thought she’d had a stroke, but an MRI revealed something else: a brain tumor called glioblastoma the size of a golf ball. Her doctors wanted to move quickly—her cancer was already Stage IV—so instead of celebrating the holiday cooking for the 10 people she was expecting, including her two sons and their families, Stiefel spent it at the hospital recovering from surgery and preparing


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