Lesion removed from Biden's chest was cancerous

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

Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the longtime White House physician who served as Biden's physician, said "all cancerous tissue was successfully removed" during the president's routine physical on February 16. O'Connor considered the 80-year-old Biden to be “ healthy, vigorous” and “fit ” to handle his White House responsibilities during that physical, which comes as he is weeks away from launching a long-awaited 2024 re-election bid.

O'Connor said the removal site on Biden's chest "has healed very well" and the president will continue regular skin exams as part of his routine health plan.

Basal cells are among the most common and easily treated forms of cancer, especially when caught early. O'Connor said they don't tend to spread like other cancers, but they can get bigger, which is why they're removed.

Biden had "several localized non-melanoma skin cancers" removed from his body before he began his presidency, O'Connor said in his Feb. 16 summary of the president's health, noting it was well established that Biden spent a lot of time in the sun during his youth.

In January, First Lady Jill Biden had two basal cell lesions removed from her right eye and chest.

She said in an Associated Press interview last week that she is now "very careful" with sunscreen, especially when she's at the beach.

Basal cell carcinoma is a slow-growing cancer that is usually limited to the surface of the skin (doctors can almost always remove it with a shallow incision) and rarely causes serious or life-threatening complications.

The Bidens have long been advocates for the fight against cancer. Their adult son Beau died in 2015 of brain cancer.

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