MONDAY, March 6, 2023 (HealthDay News) – A lesion that was found and removed from President Joe Biden’s chest during his recent physical was determined to be a common type of skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma.
“All cancerous tissue was successfully removed,” the president’s doctor, Kevin O’Connor, wrote in a letter to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Biden will only need to continue “dermatological surveillance,” O’Connor noted.
Basal cell carcinoma can often look like discoloration and scaling. It can also cause ulceration and sores. Though the cancer can spread to internal organs and become more serious or deadly, many people have small lesions removed each year to prevent any spread and complications.
“Basal cell carcinoma lesions do not tend to ‘spread’ or metastasize, as some more serious skin cancers such as melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma are known to do,” O’Connor wrote.
People who have this type of skin cancer, typically related to sun exposure, do have higher risk of other skin cancers, such as squamous cell or melanoma, CNN reported.
In Biden’s case, the area where the cancer was removed had “healed nicely,” O’Connor said.
This will likely be the last update before Biden announces whether he’ll run for a second term, CNN reported.
In Biden’s physical, O’Connor noted that the president’s head, ears, eyes, nose and throat were normal. Biden had no findings consistent with stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease in an “extremely detailed” neurological exam. He was found to be healthy and vigorous, O’Connor said, and “fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.”
Biden was prescribed orthotics to help with his stiff gait.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden also had a skin cancer removed this year.
In her case, she had what’s called a Mohs surgery to remove and examine a lesion above her right eye found during an earlier skin check, CNN reported. She also had an area of concern removed on her chest.
“The procedure confirmed the small lesion was basal cell carcinoma,” O’Connor wrote in a January letter about the lesion near the first lady’s eye. “All cancerous tissue was successfully removed, and the margins were clear of any residual skin cancer cells.”
The American Academy of Dermatology Association has more on basal cell carcinoma.