In a December 2022 statement, Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, National Cancer Institute (NCI) director, announced that she was diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer and that her prognosis is favorable. She said she is enrolled in a clinical trial centered around her diagnosis to contribute to the cancer knowledge base and advance care.
“As physicians, we are also human, and we are not fundamentally different from the people we care for just because we are on the provider side of things,” Bertagnolli said. “The patient experience is something that I think everyone goes through in life—although each individual’s experience is unique, especially when it comes to cancer.”
Bertagnolli said she plans to maintain her duties as NCI director during her cancer journey.
“I am excited to continue in my role as NCI director and will take leave as needed with some extra support from NCI’s leadership team,” she said. “I want everyone with cancer to know that they are not alone. NCI is doing everything we can to work together—with all of society—to help more people with cancer live the full and active lives they deserve.”