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Lesion removed during Biden's physical was cancerous, White House doctor says

“All cancerous tissue was successfully removed," Dr. Kevin O'Connor said.

March 3, 2023, 3:43 PM

The lesion removed from President Joe Biden's chest during his physical last month was cancerous, White House physician Dr. Kevin O'Connor said Friday.

"As expected, the biopsy confirmed that the small lesion was basal cell carcinoma," O'Connor said. "All cancerous tissue was successfully removed. … No further treatment is required."

"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 explained. "They do, however, have the potential to increase in size, resulting in a more significant issue as well as increased challenges for surgical removal."

O'Connor said the "site of the biopsy has healed nicely and the President will continue dermatologic surveillance as part of his ongoing comprehensive healthcare."

PHOTO: President Joe Biden walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on his way to Walter Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Feb. 16, 2023, for an annual physical exam.
President Joe Biden walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on his way to Walter Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Feb. 16, 2023, for an annual physical exam.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Biden had his second physical as president at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Feb. 16, amid questions about his age as he mulls a run for a second term. Biden, at 80, is the nation's oldest sitting president.

O'Connor gave Biden a clean bill of health following the exam, stating he remained "fit for duty" and was able to fulfill his responsibilities "without any exemptions or accommodations."

Before entering office, Biden had several non-melanoma skin cancers removed with Mohs surgery.

First lady Jill Biden in January underwent Mohs surgery to have a skin cancer lesion removed from above her right eye, which had been discovered during a routine skin cancer screening.

All the cancerous tissue was removed, O'Connor said at the time, after doctors recommended the first lady have the lesion removed out of an abundance of caution. During the procedure, Jill Biden also had an "area of concern" removed from the left side of her chest that was consistent with basal cell carcinoma.