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New PBS Cancer Documentary Filmed At Johns Hopkins Hospital

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The story of cancer. A new documentary about the deadly disease is filmed right here in Baltimore.

Amy Yensi has details on this groundbreaking documentary.

It's raw, and at times, difficult to watch. But ultimately, it is a story of hope and the will to live.

Without warning, Doctor Lori Wilson's life was turned upside down. The surgical oncologist went from treating patients at Howard University Hospital to dealing with her own diagnosis--breast cancer--in both breasts.

"I actually was diagnosed after the birth of my son. We were following all the healthy rules," Dr. Wilson said.

Taking special care of herself after her mother's diagnosis with lung cancer, Dr. Wilson is one of several people featured in a new PBS documentary: Ken Burns Presents Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies.

"We decided that we would allow just about everything to be filmed because we knew it would have purpose," said Dr. Wilson.

The film is based on the book by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee--a book that brought comfort to Sharon Percy Rockefeller during her own battle with cancer and inspired her to bring it to television.

"I thought it was the perfect book. It was relatively easy to understand, very compassionate to the patients," said Rockefeller.

The documentary features the groundbreaking treatment and research at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Doctors there got to enjoy a private screening and panel discussion.

Those behind the documentary hope it informs the public and sparks a national conversation about the importance of cancer research.

"It's really also a larger story about how we tackle one of the greatest scientific and human challenges," said Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee.

Dr. Wilson is done with her chemo and radiation therapy and is considering reconstructive surgery. She says science isn't the only reason behind her healing.

"I believe in the power of prayer. It was the single most important thing throughout this entire process for my family and I to get through," she said.

Because there was so much history, science and personal accounts to share, it's airing as a three-part series.

The documentary will premiere nationwide March 30, 31 and April 1. For more information, click here.

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