Lesion removed during Biden exam was cancerous; no treatment needed

A skin lesion removed during President Joe Biden’s routine physical exam last month was cancerous, but following its removal no further treatment is required, the White House physician said Friday.

In a memo released by the White House, Kevin O’Connor said that a lesion removed from Biden’s chest and sent for biopsy during his health assessment on Feb. 16 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was basal cell carcinoma.

“As expected, the biopsy confirmed that the small lesion was basal cell carcinoma. All cancerous tissue was successfully removed,” O’Connor wrote. “No further treatment is required.”

Basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, is easily treatable when detected early.

Biden’s previous physical was in November 2021, when O’Connor said he was “fit for duty” and could carry out his responsibilities “without any exemptions or accommodations.” O’Connor gave a similar summary after Biden, 80, had his exam last month.

Lesions like the kind removed in February 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 said, while noting that they sometimes increase in size and can become more difficult to surgically remove.

“The site of the biopsy has healed nicely and the President will continue dermatologic surveillance as part of his ongoing comprehensive health care,” O’Connor added.

In January, first lady Jill Biden had a pair of cancerous lesions removed that were also identified as basal cell carcinoma. O’Connor said at the time that the procedure was a success and that “all cancerous tissue was successfully removed.”

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