His colon cancer has matasticized to his liver. From what I understand, and someone correct me if I’m wrong, but a cancer from somewhere else in the body that has shown up in the liver is much easier to treat than liver cancer itself.
Here’s the story from the AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) – Presidential spokesman Tony Snow’s surgery to remove a small growth showed that his cancer has returned, the White House said Tuesday.
Snow, 51, had his colon removed in 2005 and underwent six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with colon cancer. A small growth was discovered last year in his lower right pelvic area, and it was removed on Monday. Doctors determined that it was cancerous, and that his cancer had metastized, or spread, to his liver, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
She said Snow is resting comfortably after his surgery and has pledged to aggressively fight the disease with an as-yet-to-be-determined treatment course.
“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.”
We know that Tony is not someone to walk away from a fight and he has vowed to fight this.
Update: Here’s additional information on colon cancer in the liver. As this site notes, if the recurring colon cancer shows up in the liver and is in one lump per se, it can be treated by having it removed. Reports have said this morning that Tony’s cancer is the size of the tip of a pinky finger:
Colon cancer may metastasize to the liver, lung, or other locations. When the site of metastasis is a single organ, such as the liver, and the cancer is confined to a single defined area within the organ, patients may benefit from local treatment directed at that single site of metastasis. The most common location of metastasis with colon cancer is the liver. Highly selected patients with isolated areas of colon cancer can be cured if the primary cancer in the colon and the isolated area of cancer outside the colon can be surgically removed. Several clinical trials have reported that isolated areas of colon cancer in the liver or lungs can be removed surgically and cured in approximately 25% of circumstances. Surgical removal of cancer can be accomplished with acceptable toxicity, even in community cancer centers, with mortality rates of approximately 2%.