Biden had cancerous skin lesion removed in February
US President Joe Biden had a cancerous skin lesion removed in February after a report claiming that he was healthy.
US President Joe Biden had a cancerous skin lesion removed from his chest in February, the president's physician, Kevin O'Connor said Friday.
"On 16 February, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the President had a skin lesion removed from his chest as part of his comprehensive health assessment. This tissue was sent for traditional biopsy," O’Connor said in a letter.
The small lesion was later confirmed by a biopsy to have been a basal cell carcinoma.
"All cancerous tissue was successfully removed. The area around the biopsy site was treated presumptively with electrodesiccation and curettage at the time of biopsy. No further treatment is required," the letter added.
O'Connor explained that basal cell carcinoma lesions do not spread or metastasize. However, he said, they may increase in size resulting in more significant issues and increased challenges for surgical removal.
O'Connor concluded that the site of the biopsy "has healed nicely", adding that Biden would continue dermatologic surveillance as part of his ongoing comprehensive healthcare.
First lady Jill Biden had a procedure earlier in the year to remove similar lesions.
Reportedly, the first lady had a Mohs surgery to remove and examine a lesion above her right eye discovered during a routine skin cancer checkup.
"The procedure confirmed the small lesion was basal cell carcinoma," O'Connor wrote in a letter. "All cancerous tissue was successfully removed, and the margins were clear of any residual skin cancer cells."
However, O'Connor noted during a pre-operative consultation that "an additional area of concern was identified on the left side of the first lady’s chest.” This area was also treated with Mohs surgery.
The president's lesion was removed during his annual physical in February, after which O'Connor claimed that he remained "healthy" and "vigorous", saying he was "fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency."
The lesion at hand, basal cell carcinoma of the skin, is a highly common cancer in the United States, and treatment can be highly effective when the cancer is detected early on. They are often present as discoloration and scaling and may cause ulceration or sores.
Additionally, the cancers can also metastasize or spread to internal organs, causing organ dysfunction and leading to death.