Reagan Due for Third Post-Cancer Hospital Checkup

Associated Press

President Reagan will enter Bethesda Naval Hospital on Friday for his third physical checkup since he underwent surgery for colon cancer nearly a year ago, the White House announced Wednesday.

Presidential spokesman Larry Speakes said that he assumed the President would have a thorough examination of his colon, as well as other post-operative tests, to determine whether there has been any recurrence of cancer.

Speakes, who has been guarded about divulging details of the President's condition since the operation, said he did not know what procedures would be performed.

He said that Reagan would enter the hospital at midday Friday and is expected to be released later the same day and fly to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, for the weekend.

After the intestinal tumor was discovered and removed last July 13, doctors said that Reagan should have regular examinations, including X-rays, blood tests and semi-annual colonoscopies, to guard against any recurrence or spreading of the disease.

The colonoscope is a long, flexible tube used to inspect the full length of the large intestine. It was through use of such an exam that physicians at the military hospital outside Washington first discovered the President's tumor.

Reagan stopped at the hospital last Nov. 1 for a 30-minute checkup that included blood tests and X-rays. The White House said afterward that all results were normal.

Reagan had his first post-operative colonoscopy in January, and three small growths, known as polyps, were discovered and removed. The White House issued a statement the next day saying that the growths were found to be benign.

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