'Ice Bound' Doctor Who Treated Her Breast Cancer Dies At 57


Dr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald wrote the best-selling book “Ice Bound: A Doctor’s Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole.” The book told the story of how she had diagnosed and treated her own breast cancer in the winter of 1999 while stationed at the south pole.

FitzGerald, 57, died Tuesday at her home in Southwick, Mass. her husband Thomas FitzGerald reported that her cancer had been in remission until August 2005.

As the only doctor at the National Science Foundation's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in winter 1999, she ended up having to perform a biopsy on herself with her staffs help after finding the lump in her breast. Anti-cancer drugs were delivered to her by a U.S. Air Force airdrop. She used them to treat her cancer until she could be rescued in October 2000 by Air National Guard.

In addition to her husband, the Ohio native is survived by her parents, two brothers and three children.

Signs and symptoms of Breast cancer may include:

* A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue


* Bloody discharge from the nipple

* Change in the size or shape of a breast

* Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling

* Inverted nipple

* Peeling or flaking of the nipple skin

* Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange

Breast self-exam should be done monthly. If you find a lump or other change in your breast — even if a recent mammogram was normal — make an appointment with your doctor.

AP Press
Mayo Clinic