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Tony Snow Dies from Colon Cancer

Tony ShowTony Snow died early Saturday morning from colon cancer.  He was 53.

Formerly White House Press Secretary, Snow was diagnosed with colon cancer  in February of 2005.  He had surgery and chemotherapy.  His cancer was in remission until a recurrence in his liver in March, 2007.

His mother also died of colon cancer when Snow was a teenager and she was 38.

When he returned to the White House Press Room late in April of 2007 after several weeks of treatment for the recurrence, he told reporters,

Not everybody will survive cancer,but on the other hand, you have got to realize you’ve got the gift of life, so make the most of it. That is my view, and I’m going to make the most of my time with you.

He wrote about his life with cancer in an essay Cancer’s Unexpected Blessings in Christianity Today in  July 2007.

President and Mrs. Bush expressed their condolences to Snow’s family in a statement from the White House including the following words,

Tony was one of our Nation’s finest writers and commentators. He earned a loyal following with incisive radio and television broadcasts. He was a gifted speechwriter who served in my father’s Administration. And I was thrilled when he agreed to return to the White House to serve as my Press Secretary. It was a joy to watch Tony at the podium each day. He brought wit, grace, and a great love of country to his work. His colleagues will cherish memories of his energetic personality and relentless good humor.

Snow was born in Kentucky on June 1, 1955. He is survived by his wife, Jill Walker, three children, Kendall, Robbie and Kristi Snow, and his father and stepmother, Jim and Dottie Snow.

Snow always wore the yellow LiveStrong cancer survivor wristband, and once told reporters, “I’m a very lucky guy.”

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3 Comments

  1. Bix said:

    If his mother died of colon cancer at 38, maybe there was a genetic problem. HNPCC maybe.

  2. Lisa said:

    I am an oncology nurse who specializes in cancer genetics. I also lost my brother to colon cancer at the age of 45.

    I was wondering, since Tony’s Mom died at 38 from colon cancer, when he had his first colonoscopy and how frequently he had them. I would think if he had them early and frequent, this could have been prevented. I also wonder if he had ever talked about hereditary colon cancer. That would be a great opportunity for public education.

  3. Kate Murphy said:

    We know that people who inherit a gene for Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or HNPCC) need to begin colonoscopy surveillance between ages of 20 and 25 and need to have it repeated every 1 to 2 years.

    Women are at increased risk for uterine and ovarian cancer and need annual screening for these diseases Experts recommend beginning a gynecological screening between 25 and 25 that includes an annual pelvic exam, endometrial biopsy, and annual or semiannual CA-125 testing and transvaginal ultrasound.

    More information is available from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

    Not knowing Tony Snow’s medical history, it is tough to speculate on what earlier or more frequent screening might have meant for him.

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