Snow's cancer spreads to liver

March 28, 2007|By James Gerstenzang | James Gerstenzang,Los ANgeles Times

WASHINGTON -- The colon cancer that White House press secretary Tony Snow was treated for in 2005 has spread to his liver, his principal deputy, Dana Perino, said yesterday.

Snow, who underwent abdominal surgery Monday, will begin chemotherapy treatments, Perino said.

Perino, pausing to regain her composure, told reporters that Snow said he was "going to be going after it as aggressively as he can."

President Bush, speaking with reporters in the White House Rose Garden, said, "It's a recurrence of the cancer that he thought that he had successfully dealt with in the past. His attitude is, one, that he is not going to let this whip him, and he's upbeat. My attitude is, is that we need to pray for him and for his family."

The disclosure comes in the wake of the announcement last week that Elizabeth Edwards was about to begin treatment for a metastasized cancer and that her husband, John Edwards, would continue his campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Perino said Snow spoke to Bush yesterday and was "up, walking around and feeling fairly comfortable" one day after the surgery at an undisclosed hospital.

Snow, 51, announced Friday that he would undergo the surgery Monday, after several scans indicated a growth in his lower abdomen. He has undergone scans regularly after he was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent surgery for the disease. His mother died of colon cancer when he was 17.

Perino said Snow had told her that the spread of the cancer to his liver was discovered during the surgery.

"He was in very good spirits," she said. She added that he passed along instructions for her news briefing for reporters: "Tell them not to bug me."

James Gerstenzang writes for The Los Angeles Times.

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