Cancer Type – Colon
Bio – Ronald Reagan – We followed him from Hollywood Star to California Governor to President, but did you know he had skin and colon cancer?
Short Story – He served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981-1989, after a career in Hollywood. During his time in the oval office he had a skin cancer lump removed from his nose (1987), which returned six months later. It was removed again, and all of his cancer was gone.
What most don’t realize about Ronald Reagan, is during his presidency he battled colon cancer. A routine screening found a small polyp in 1984, however this was ruled benign. In March of 1985 another polyp. The polyp was removed in an endoscopic procedure and colonoscopy revealed a second, more invasive tumor known as villous adenoma.
Two feet of the right side of Reagan’s colon was moved. The good news, it had not spread, however it had invaded the muscle of the colon but was confined to the bowel wall, something physicians refer to as “Duke’s B.”
The President chose not to undergo chemotherapy treatments, even though doctors warned cancer cells could spread to other organs. Instead he followed his wife Nancy’s request to undergo laetrile treatments. For thirteen months, President Reagan received daily IV laetrile treatments in the Oval Office.
The conservative leader was a colon cancer survivor, although he lost his daughter Maureen to brain cancer in 2001. In his late years he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Before his passing in 2004, he wrote an optimistic note , “”I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.”
Ronald Reagan Colon Cancer Update
Ronald Reagan dealt with skin cancer in 1982, which brought significant attention to skin cancer for the first time. The day after he had the spot removed, he had to go on television; when asked about the bandage, Ronald replied, “it is a billboard to stay out of the sun.” he went on to explain the Mohs surgery was successful.
Shortly after the Reagan reply, Dr. Perry Robins, the founder of The Skin Cancer Foundation, went on television and explained the warning signs, early detection importance, and effective skin cancer treatments.
Ronald’s beloved wife, First Lady Nancy Reagan, also had skin cancer and breast cancer. It was the only time Ronald Reagan worried about cancer was during Nancy’s breast cancer treatment. She chose to have a modified radical mastectomy. She was a 29-year survivor as her breast cancer never returned.
In the end, Ronald Reagan passed away from Alzheimer’s disease and not cancer; he was a cancer survivor.
The Ronald Reagan Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships to students each year who demonstrate consummate leadership, determination, honesty, and citizenship.
|40th President of the United States|
|In office (January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989)|
|Vice President||George H. W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Jimmy Carter|
|Succeeded by||George H. W. Bush|
|33rd Governor of California|
|In office (January 2, 1967 – January 6, 1975)|
|Lieutenant||Robert Finch, Edwin Reinecke, John L. Harmer|
|Preceded by||Pat Brown|
|Succeeded by||Jerry Brown|
|President of the Screen Actors Guild|
|In office November 16, 1959 – June 12, 1960|
|Preceded by||Howard Keel|
|Succeeded by||George Chandler|
|In office (November 17, 1947 – November 9, 1952)|
|Preceded by||Robert Montgomery|
|Succeeded by||Walter Pidgeon|
|Born||Ronald Wilson Reagan, February 6, 1911, Tampico, Illinois, U.S.|
|Died||June 5, 2004 (aged 93), Bel Air, California, U.S.|
|Cause of death||Pneumonia complicated by Alzheimer’s disease|
|Resting place||Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center|
|Other political affiliations||Democratic (before 1962)|
|Spouse(s)||Jane Wyman (m. 1940–49), Nancy Davis (m. 1952)|
|Relations||Neil Reagan (brother)|
|Parents||Jack Reagan, Nelle Wilson Reagan|
|Alma mater||Eureka College|
|Profession||Actor, politician, sports, commentator|
|Awards||Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal|
|Service/branch||U.S. Army Air Forces|
|Years of service||1937–1945|
|Unit||18th AAF Base Unit|
Image Credits – See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons