WASHINGTON – White House press secretary Tony Snow, a cancer survivor, told reporters Friday that he will be undergoing surgery Monday to remove a small growth from his lower abdomen but said there were no indications that the growth was cancerous.
The growth was discovered during regular tests, Snow said. He underwent treatment for colon cancer in 2005 while he worked as a radio host for FOX News. He took over as White House press secretary in May 2006.
Saying he would be back in a few weeks, he joked saying he'd "come back a little lighter." Deputy press secretary Dana Perino will take his place in the meantime.
"Please do not leap to conclusions about this because we don't know what this is," Snow said.
While waiving reporters off the idea that the growth could be cancerous, he took time to discuss Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, who said Thursday she had a recurrence of her cancer and will be undergoing treatment.
"The biggest problem you have a lot of times with cancer is flat out fear.And when you see Elizabeth Edwards saying I'm going to embrace life and I'm going to move forward, that is a wonderful thing. Because once you decide that you're going to embrace life, you become a much better patient.
The Associated Press reported that the Edwardses called Snow after hearing the news to express their support and concern.