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White House Spokesman Faces New Cancer Battle


White House Spokesman Tony Snow is facing yet another battle with cancer. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports the news has shaken members of the president's staff.

Tony Snow has always pointed with pride to his victory against colon cancer in 2005.

Now, the disease is back.

Snow underwent surgery Monday for a small growth in his lower abdomen. Before the operation, he appeared upbeat, saying preliminary tests were good.

"Blood tests are negative, PET scans are negative," he said. "But out of an aggressive sense of caution, I am going to go in for surgery on Monday and have it removed."

But the results of the surgery were startling. Snow personally called President Bush and his deputy, Dana Perino, with the news. The growth was cancerous and the disease had spread to his liver.

It was a visibly shaken Perino who revealed the diagnosis to the White House press corps Tuesday.

A short time later, the president spoke in the White House Rose Garden about Tony Snow.

"His attitude is, one, that he is not going to let this whip him, and he's upbeat," said President Bush. "My attitude is, is that we need to pray for him, and for his family."

The president said he looks forward to the day that Snow can return to the White House. But no one knows when that will be.

Perino told reporters Snow will undergo aggressive chemotherapy for a second time. The first came after his cancerous colon was removed in 2005.

His health was a consideration when Snow was offered the White House post last year. He took it after his doctors said he was healthy enough to take the job.