Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tests show Tony Snow's cancer has returned

Man this is tough news...

From the AP:

The colon cancer that Tony Snow successfully battled two years ago has returned and spread to the presidential spokesman's liver, the White House said Tuesday.

President Bush, making a brief statement to reporters in the Rose Garden, struck an optimistic tone that echoed how aides said Snow was feeling. The president spoke with Snow early Tuesday, and said he looks forward to the day that his spokesman "comes back to the White House and briefs the press corps on the decisions that I'm making."

"His attitude is, one, that he is not going to let this whip him, and he's upbeat. My attitude is that we need to pray for him, and for his family," Bush said. "And so my message to Tony is, 'Stay strong; a lot of people love you and care for you and will pray for you.' "

Doctors determined the growth was cancerous, and also found during the surgery that his cancer had metastasized, or spread, to his liver, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

She said Snow is comfortable and feeling fine after his surgery and has pledged to aggressively fight the disease with an as-yet-to-be-determined chemotherapy treatment course. He will be in the hospital recovering from the surgery, a major procedure, for about a week.

"He said he's going to beat it again," Perino said in an emotional morning briefing with White House reporters. "When I talked to him, he was in very good spirits."...snip

How long they survive depends on how much of the liver is affected, and how many other parts of the body are, too.

In a small proportion of patients, the liver cancer is contained to a small enough area that it can be cut out. If surgery is not an option, doctors may try to limit the cancer's spread through the liver with radiofrequency ablation, using radiofrequency energy to blast the tumors.

Chemotherapy is a mainstay when the cancer has spread to more than one site, with the hope of controlling, even shrinking, tumors to prolong life.

Chemotherapy can turn cancer into something people can live with, said Dr. James Watson, the attending surgeon at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. "In this day and age, a diagnosis of a recurrence of colon cancer is far from a death sentence," he said.

To have to fight Cancer once is bad enough, but twice? He never appeared to have regained his vitality from his first fight with cancer. He never put the weight back on, so I am worried.

This has been some week, since Mrs John Edwards announced that her breast cancer, which she also thought she beat, also announced her cancer had moved to her bones. Her cancer is incurable, but treatable. Of course, the treatments are very expensive, but the Edwards can afford it.

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