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Biden had cancerous lesion removed from chest last month, his doctor says

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on April 8, 2021. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
March 03, 2023

President Joe Biden had a skin lesion removed from his chest last month that is now confirmed to have been cancerous, though his doctor said no further treatment was required.

Biden’s doctor, Kevin O’Connor, said on Friday that test results showed the lesion to be a common form of skin cancer called a basal cell carcinoma, the Associated Press reported. O’Connor said that “all cancerous tissue was successfully removed” during the president’s periodic physical examination on Feb. 16.

The lesion was first revealed in O’Connor’s summary of the physical, where he wrote that a “small lesion” had been “excised” and sent for a biopsy.

O’Connor said Friday that the removal site on Biden’s chest has “healed nicely,” AP reported.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer in the world and is not life-threatening for most people, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. It tends to grow slowly and rarely spreads to other parts of the body.

First Lady Jill Biden also had two basal cell carcinoma lesions removed in January. The lesions were removed from her chest and above her right eye.

O’Connor had noted in the summary of Biden’s physical that the president had several localized, non-melanoma skin cancers – like the latest lesion – removed prior to starting his term. He added that it is “well-established” that Biden “did spend a good deal of time in the sun in his youth,” a possible cause of later skin cancer.

After Biden’s physical last month, O’Connor declared him “a healthy, vigorous, 80-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.” 

O’Connor also concluded that the president’s “stiffened gait” is largely a result of “wear and tear” on his spine, and that his “throat clearing and coughing” is the result of gastroesophageal reflux.

In November 2021, Biden had a benign polyp removed during a colonoscopy, later revealed to be a benign, but potentially precancerous lesion known as a tubular adenoma, as reported by CNN. 

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.