No Cancer Found in Bush's Colon Polyps
Monday, July 23, 2007; 7:08 PM
WASHINGTON -- Doctors found no cancer in the five small growths removed from President Bush's colon, the White House said Monday.
The growths, called polyps, were found during a routine cancer scan that Bush underwent Saturday at the Camp David presidential retreat. Examinations showed the growths were benign _ in line with the White House's expectation that none of the five polyps appeared "worrisome."
"The president is in good health," Bush spokesman Tony Snow said. "There is no reason for alarm."
Bush's next cancer scan will be in three years, his press secretary added, saying that is the typical interval between exams given the amount of growths found this time. There had been a five-year gap between Bush's 2002 colonoscopy and the one the president had over the weekend.
Polyps are extra pieces of tissues that grow inside the large intestine. Most polyps are not dangerous, but over time, they can turn cancerous. To be safe, doctors typically remove the polyps and test them. Finding them early is considered one of the best ways of preventing disease.
Bush, 61, regularly exercises and is considered to be in excellent shape for a man his age.
Bush had temporarily transferred the powers of the presidency to Vice President Dick Cheney during his medical procedure Saturday morning, invoking the rarely invoked 25th Amendment. During the 31-minute procedure, Bush was sedated with a drug called propofol.
Nothing occurred during the 2 hours and 5 minutes of the transfer that required Cheney to take official action, aides said.
Later that afternoon, Bush was quickly back to normal activities. He played with his dogs, rode his bike for more than an hour around the presidential compound in the mountains of western Maryland, and got informal briefings from his top aides.
Doctors discovered that Bush had two polyps during a similar scan in 1998 and two more were found during a colon screening in 1999, while Bush was governor of Texas. That made Bush a prime candidate for regular examinations.
His most recent screening before last weekend's, conducted in 2002, revealed no polyps or abnormalities.
The update on Bush's health came from Snow, who currently is undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer. He had his colon removed in 2005. In March, Snow underwent surgery to remove a growth in his abdominal area, and doctors determined that cancer had spread to his liver.