Bishop Carlson is going to have an "unusual cellular growth" removed from his colon. He's going to be out of commission for up to six weeks or so.
Colon cancer runs in my family with my grandmother dying of it and my Dad having had surgery and a section of his colon removed. My siblings and I all have regular checks and so far, none of us have needed any surgery. This does not sound "routine." This is Bishop Carlson's third operation. Routine surgery that puts you out for six weeks in these days of "outpatient surgery" sounds fairly serious.
Catholic bishop's surgery preventive
Bishop Robert J. Carlson will have elective surgery this month to remove an "unusual cellular growth" on his colon, a Catholic Diocese of Saginaw spokesman said.
The surgery is a precaution for the 62-year-old leader, who had surgeries to remove cancer in Sioux Falls, S.D., and at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., both in 1996, and at St. Mary's of Michigan in Saginaw in 2005.
The growth isn't cancerous, but doctors recommend that they remove it as a precaution, said diocese spokesman Matt Treadwell.
The religious leader remains in good health otherwise, the spokesman said.
In a letter this month to priests and staff members, the bishop said his doctors have declared him cancer free.
"While there is no cancer, there is some unusual cellular activity, and this could develop into cancer in the future," he wrote. "The doctors I have spoken to, for a second opinion, have told me it is a real gift to have this knowledge and to take action before any cancer is present.
"I see this as a real blessing from God, and I go into the surgery very positive."
Carlson said after the Tuesday, Nov. 28, surgery, he expects to resume his normal duties in January.
Carlson, who is attending the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops in Washington, D.C., was not available for comment, Treadwell said.
The Vatican named him as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw in December 2004. He succeeded Kenneth E. Untener, who died in March 2004 of leukemia.
Carlson formerly was bishop for the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St Paul-Minneapolis. Saginaw News