Pat Nixon Has Oral Cancer Removed; Prognosis Good

Associated Press

Former First Lady Pat Nixon was released today from a hospital where she had a malignant tumor removed from her mouth. Her prognosis is excellent, a hospital official said.

Former President Nixon and daughter Tricia Nixon Cox accompanied Mrs. Nixon from Lenox Hill Hospital. Nixon visited his wife regularly during her stay there, officials said.

The Nixons returned to their $1.25-million mansion in Upper Saddle River, N.J., about 20 miles northwest of New York City.

Mrs. Nixon, 74, was admitted to the hospital Monday and underwent surgery to remove the small, cancerous growth the next day, said Deborah Cooke, acting hospital administrator.

Nixon, after visiting his wife Wednesday afternoon, called her "remarkable." "She's a very strong woman, you know. It's a rugged operation," he said.

"She's doing very well," said Tricia Cox, who brought her 7-year-old son Christopher for the visit. "We bought her lots of Valentine's Day cards from the gift shop. They're all over her room."

The operation was performed by Dr. Stanley Blaugrund, a head and neck surgeon, and surgical dentist Dr. Melvin Blake.

Blake, whom Nixon credited with discovering the tumor, said his patient was "talking, eating and is ambulatory."

Mrs. Nixon suffered a stroke in San Clemente in 1976, three years after the Nixons departed the White House, and was treated for bronchial pneumonia three years later. In 1983, she had a less severe stroke. A year later, she was treated for a lung infection.

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