Rollin was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1975, and again in 1984, each time losing a breast to the disease. Rollin discussed her battle with cancer publicly and wrote about her struggle with cancer in the book,

Rollin's mother Ida was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer around the same time, and Rollin helped her mother end her life in 1983. One of Rollin's friends told her of a doctor in Europe who supported physician-assisted suicide, whom she contacted and was able to obtain the needed pills. When she revealed this in her book

She and her husband, mathematician Dr. Harold Edwards, live in Manhattan. They have no children.

This author page uses material from the Wikipedia article "Betty Rollin", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0