First Lady Gets 'Clean Bill of Health' After Colon Test

From a Times Staff Writer

First Lady Nancy Reagan underwent a colon examination Wednesday at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, but doctors found no irregularities, a White House spokesman said.

Elaine Crispen, Mrs. Reagan's press secretary, said the colonoscopy was the final phase of a routine physical checkup. "Everything is fine," Crispen told reporters.

"She's home, and she has been given a clean bill of health," she said of the First Lady. She added that Mrs. Reagan, 64, had no specific colon complaint and has been in good health.

Two Cancerous Growths

President Reagan underwent surgery at the naval hospital July 13 to remove a cancerous polyp from his colon. Since then, the President has had two cancerous growths removed from his nose.

Officials on Wednesday said that the small patch of skin removed from the President's nose last week was a second growth, rather than cancer cells left over from surgery July 30.

Reagan, determined to avoid the controversy that flared during his first bout with skin cancer, disclosed last Friday that he had "some additional work" done the previous day to remove cells later found to have been cancerous.

Refuses to Specify

The White House later refused to specify whether the "additional work" described by Reagan had been to remove cells not found during the July 30 procedure or involved a second cancerous growth.

Crispen said she did not know whether Mrs. Reagan asked for the colon examination herself or whether it was recommended by doctors as a routine precaution.

The First Lady's medical appointments usually are not announced. However, an exception was made in this case to quell any rumors that she had been taken to the hospital in an emergency, Crispen said.

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