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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bush has five polyps removed (IHT)

Bush has five polyps removed in colon cancer screening
By Jim Rutenberg
Published: July 22, 2007

Doctors have removed five small polyps from President George W. Bush's colon during a cancer screening that forced him to relinquish his presidential powers to Vice President Dick Cheney for two hours and five minutes.

Scott Stanzel, a White House spokesman, said Saturday that the polyps were not deemed worrisome on visual inspection by a team of doctors from the National Naval Medical Center, who performed the procedure in Camp David, Maryland. But in a statement released later Saturday morning, Stanzel said the polyps would be sent to the center for testing. He said there would be a 48- to 72-hour wait for the results. He described the polyps as less than a centimeter in diameter each.

The use of a sedative during the colonoscopy necessitated the transfer of power to Cheney.
Bush's physician, Richard Tubb, oversaw the exam. It was the second cancer screening of Bush's presidency. During the first, in 2002, Bush also transferred his presidential powers to Cheney.
That year, no polyps were found. But doctors did find and remove benign polyps from Bush's colon during exams in 1998 and 1999, when he was governor of Texas.

The polyps were of a type called adenomatous, which arise out of glandular tissue. In such cases, doctors recommend follow-up examinations every few years to search for new polyps and to check for smaller polyps that may have escaped notice in earlier colonoscopies.
Stanzel said the temporary transfer of Bush's powers to Cheney began at 7:16 a.m. The procedure began shortly thereafter and concluded at 7:44 a.m. The president resumed power at 9:21 a.m.

Before the screening, Bush sent a letter to the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, and the president pro tem of the Senate, Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, in which he invoked Section Three of the 25th Amendment of the Constitution in transferring power to Cheney.

Afterward, he sent another letter saying, "I am presently able to resume the discharge of the constitutional powers and duties of the office of the president of the United States." Stanzel said Bush was in "good humor" and planned to take a bicycle ride later in the day.

Lawrence K. Altman contributed reporting.


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