Stephen M. Silverman
March 28, 2007 05:00 PM

In an important distinction, the recurrence of cancer found this week in White House press secretary Tony Snow was attached to his liver, not inside it, his deputy announced Wednesday, CNN reports.

On Tuesday, White House assistant press secretary Dana Perino had announced that Snow’s colon cancer had returned and spread to his liver.

Snow was told the diagnosis Monday after surgery, said Perino. On Tuesday morning he called President Bush, who said afterwards, “My message to Tony is: stay strong. A lot of people love you and care for you and will pray for you.”

Snow, 51, was treated for colon cancer in 2005, at which time his colon was removed.

With Wednesday’s news that the malignancy is outside and not inside the liver, Dr. John Kauh, an oncologist at Emory University who has not treated Snow, told CNN that the cancer potentially would be easier to remove surgically.

“Basically the distinction can be, it’s growing attached to the outside of the liver or actually within the meat of the liver itself,” Kauh said.

Snow, whose mother died of colon cancer at age 38 in 1973, will consult his doctors about an aggressive plan for treatment that is likely to include chemotherapy, according to Perino.

Only last Friday, a day after Elizabeth Edwards and her husband, Democratic candidate John Edwards, revealed that her cancer had returned, Snow said, “When you see an Elizabeth Edwards saying, ‘I’m going to embrace life and I’m going to move forward,’ that is a wonderful thing.”

On Tuesday, John Edwards said that he and Elizabeth were praying for Snow, saying: “Tony has been an incredible example for people living with cancer and cancer survivors.”

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