Skin lesion removed from Joe Biden’s chest was cancerous, doctor says

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A skin lesion removed from President Joe Biden’s chest last month was a basal cell carcinoma — a common form of skin cancer, his doctor said, adding that no further treatment was required.

White House doctor Kevin O’Connor said “all cancerous tissue was successfully removed” during the president’s routine physical examination on February 16.

He said the site of the removal on Mr Biden’s chest has “healed nicely” and the president will continue regular skin screenings as part of his routine health plan.

Biden Medal of Honor
President Joe Biden is expected to launch a bid for re-election (Evan Vucci/AP)

Dr O’Connor said they do not tend to spread like other cancers but could grow in size, which is why they are removed.

Mr Biden, 80, was deemed by Dr O’Connor to be “healthy, vigorous” and “fit” to handle his White House responsibilities during the check-up, which comes as he is weeks away from launching an expected bid for re-election in 2024.

Mr Biden had “several localised non-melanoma skin cancers” removed from his body before he started his presidency, Dr O’Connor said in his February 16 summary of the president’s health, noting it was well established that Mr Biden spent a lot of time in the sun during his youth.

First lady Jill Biden had two basal cell lesions removed from her right eye and chest in January.

She said in an Associated Press interview last week that she is now “extra careful” about sun screen, especially when she is at the beach.

Basal cell carcinoma is a slow-growing cancer that is usually confined to the surface of skin — doctors almost always can remove it all with a shallow incision — and seldom causes serious complications or becomes life-threatening.

The Bidens have long been campaigners on fighting cancer. Their adult son Beau died in 2015 from brain cancer.

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