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Tony Snow to have surgery

March 24, 2007|James Gerstenzang | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, who underwent surgery in 2005 for colon cancer, said Friday that a series of medical scans had turned up a small growth in his lower abdomen and that he would have it surgically removed Monday.

He said at least one set of scans was negative, as were blood tests looking for a return of the cancer. "But out of an aggressive sense of caution," he said, he will undergo the surgery.

"Don't leap to any cancer conclusions about what's going on with me, because we don't know," the press secretary said.

Snow, 51, underwent six months of chemotherapy after the colon cancer was diagnosed. He has said that his mother died of colon cancer when he was 17.

Snow said he had a PET scan -- positron emission tomography -- which can help detect cancer-related changes. He said he also had MRI testing and CT scans, which produce multidimensional images of organs and tissue.

His announcement came a day after Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards disclosed that his wife, Elizabeth, would again be treated for cancer. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and announced Thursday that the cancer had spread into her bone.

Snow referred to her Friday, noting the importance of holding a positive attitude while fighting the disease. "The biggest problem you have a lot of times with cancer is just flat-out fear," he said.

james.gerstenzang @latimes.com

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