July 23, 2007 / 4:39 PM / 12 years ago

No cancer found after Bush colon exam

U.S. President George W. Bush waves to reporters as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House after his return from Camp David, in Washington July 22, 2007. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - No cancer was detected in five small growths removed from U.S. President George W. Bush during a routine colon exam, but he will be tested again in three years, the White House said on Monday.

“The president is in good health, there’s no reason for alarm,” White House spokesman Tony Snow said. Doctors on Saturday removed the small growths, known as polyps, during the colonoscopy performed at the Camp David presidential retreat.

However, because the doctors found five polyps, they recommended Bush have another checkup in three years, which would be after he leaves the White House, Snow said. His last checkup was five years ago.

“When you have the growth of polyps you want to just be very careful to keep your eye on what develops so that the patient, in fact, does not get into a position when you have to worry about it,” Snow said.

Bush, 61, had polyps removed during previous tests in 1998 and 1999 when he was governor of Texas. A colonoscopy performed in 2002 revealed no medical problems.

During the test on Saturday, Bush transferred his presidential powers to Vice President Dick Cheney for just over two hours, the third time in U.S. history.

More than 52,000 Americans are expected to die this year from colorectal cancer and more than 153,000 will be diagnosed with the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

About 1.6 million Americans undergo a colonoscopy each year, which is designed to reduce the chances of colon cancer — the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

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