Sunday, March 4, 2012

Colon cancer; Tony Snow's relapse raises questions about disease

News of White House spokesman Tony Snow's colon cancer relapsehas drawn increased attention to the second-leading cancer killer.Here, experts answer some key questions:

Q How serious is a recurrence of cancer?

Though patients often can be cured of their original tumors,cancers that grow back are much harder to eradicate, said LeonardSaltz, a colorectal cancer expert at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Most relapses occur within 2 1/2 to 3 years after the originaltumor. If a tumor doesn't return within five years, many doctorsconsider the patient cured.

Q Was Snow at a higher risk for colon cancer?

Yes. Snow's mother died …

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