Saturday, March 4, 2023

Skin lesion removed from Biden's chest was cancerous, doctor says; parallels his wife's

Joe Biden's White House doctor says a skin lesion removed from the president's chest was a basal cell carcinoma — a common form of skin cancer.

According to an Associated Press story this week by Zeke Miller, his doctor, Kevin O'Connor, added that no further treatment is required to the procedure that was done a month ago.

In January, Biden's wife, Jill, underwent a procedure to remove similar basal cell lesions from her chest and right eye.

No further danger is expected in either case because basal cell carinoma, a slow-growing cancer normally limited to the skin's surface, rarely becomes life-threatening or causes serious complications.

Both Bidens have long been advocates for fighting cancer, even before their son Beau succumbed to brain cancer in 2015.

Dr. O 'Connor
The Post story quotes O'Connor — Biden's doctor since he was vice president — as saying that "all cancerous tissue was successful removed" during a routine physical.

The doctor, Miller's article says, also declared Biden to be "healthy, vigorous" and "fit" to handle his presidential responsibilities.

O'Connor says the removal on Biden's chest already has "healed nicely" but the president, as a precaution, will continue regular skin screenings as part of his routine health plan.

The Post story says the doctor also reported that the president had "'several localized non-melanoma skin cancers' removed from his body before he started the presidency, noting it was well established that Biden spent a lot of time in the sun during his youth."

Miller's story explains that "basal cells are among the most common and easily treated forms of cancer — especially when caught early." They don't tend to spread like other cancers, "but could grow in size., which is why they are removed."

In an AP interview last week, according to the Post piece, Dr. Jill Biden reported that "she's now 'extra careful' about sunscreen, especially when she's at the beach."

More information about skin cancer, particularly melanomas, can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive  his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

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