President Reagan was pronounced in "excellent health" Friday after an extensive exam at the Bethesda Naval Hospital and first lady Nancy Reagan showed no signs of recurrence of breast cancer, the White House said.
"A clean bill of health," the president told reporters as the couple headed for their helicopter and a weekend stay at the Camp David presidential retreat.In a written statement, White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said a small polyp was removed from the president's colon for a biopsy - a procedure that has been done routinely since Reagan's major surgery - and the results will be announced Saturday.
"The tissue, taken from a point approximately 120 centimenters into the colon, and approximately 1 to 2 millimeters in size, will be tested over the weekend. It appeared to be benign," the statement said.
Fitzwater quoted Dr. John Hutton, the White House physician, as saying, "The president is in excellent health, and there is no evidence of any cancer recurrence in the first lady's mammogram."
"The president is in remarkable physical condition," Hutton was quoted as saying.
Fitzwater also revealed that the president and first lady "briefly visited with Justice William Brennan," the 82-year-old liberal Supreme Court member who is being treated for pneumonia at the naval hospital.
Both the president, who underwent colon cancer surgery nearly 3 1/2 years ago, and Mrs. Reagan gave the thumbs-up gesture in response to shouted questions about their examinations at the suburban medical center.
White House officials had said the examinations were routine but necessary in light of the recurring nature of cancer.
The Reagans were at the hospital for nearly fours hours undergoing tests.
Before the Reagans left the White House, spokesman Marlin Fitzwter told reporters that "there are absolutely no symptoms. There is no clinical suggestion of a recurrence of cancer either in terms of the first lady or the president."
Reagan arrived at the hospital wearing bright blue sneakers instead of his customary dress shoes. Reagan told curious reporters he had been advised that the battery of tests he faced included a stress test, which requires a patient to walk on a treadmill while being monitored.
Fitzwater said Mrs. Reagan, whose left breast was removed in October 1987, would have her second post-operative mammogram.