President Bush's Colon Growths Not Cancerous

Test results from President Bush's colonoscopy have shown no cancer in the small growths removed from President Bush's colon, the White House announced Monday.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow issued a statement that microscopic evaluations of the five polyps discovered and removed during the president's colonoscopy confirm the preliminary diagnosis tubular adenoma, or as Snow described, "garden variety polyps."

"The president is in good health," said Snow, who has himself battled with colon cancer. "There is no reason for alarm."

The progression of polyps to cancer takes many years, even if the polyps are small, like those found in Bush's colon in a routine procedure over the weekend. They represent the very earliest cellular changes. Left untreated, they can progress to larger, more advance lesions, Snow explained.

President Bush will have another colonoscopy in three years. As most colon cancer arises from polyps, the rule of thumb is if more than three polyps are found, another colonoscopy should be done within three years.

Two-thirds of all polyps are adenomas, the vast majority tubular adenomas. It is not uncommon to find polyps in routine colonoscopies, Snow said.

Bush, 61, regularly exercises and is considered to be in excellent shape for a man his age.

Bush had temporarily transferred the powers of the presidency to Vice President Dick Cheney during his medical procedure Saturday morning, invoking the rarely invoked 25th Amendment. During the 31-minute procedure, Bush was sedated with a drug called Propofol.

Nothing occurred during the 2 hours and 5 minutes of the transfer that required Cheney to take official action, aides said.

Later that afternoon, Bush was quickly back to normal activities. He played with his dogs, rode his bike for more than an hour around the presidential compound in the mountains of western Maryland, and got informal briefings from his top aides.

Doctors discovered that Bush had two polyps during a similar scan in 1998 and two more were found during a colon screening in 1999, while Bush was governor of Texas. That made Bush a prime candidate for regular examinations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.