Biden Has Skin Cancer Cell Removed Following Same Operation On First Lady
President Joe Biden had a cancerous skin lesion removed from his chest during his physical last month, the White House confirmed Friday, just weeks after surgeons removed the same type of cancerous skin lesions above First Lady Jill Biden’s right eye and on her chest—and doctors say no further treatment is necessary for either.
Biden was treated for the skin lesion at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on February 6, White House physician Kevin O’Connor said in a memo to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Doctors analyzed the lesion in a biopsy, which revealed it was basal cell carcinoma—one of the two most common types of skin cancer and the same type of lesion Jill Biden had removed in January.
All cancerous tissue was removed successfully, O’Connor said, while the skin around the lesion was treated with a process using an electrical current, called electrodessication.
Biden, 80, will continue to be examined around the site of the lesion, though O’Connor stated no further treatment on the lesion is needed at this time.
Basal cell carcinoma is usually treatable if caught early. Unlike other skin cancers like melanoma, basal cell carcinoma does not typically metastasize on the body, although it can grow in size, O’Connor said. Basal cells, which are found in the innermost section of the outer layer of skin, called the epidermis, typically develop on skin exposed to the sun, but can occur on other parts of the body, according to the American Cancer Society. They can also take years and sometimes decades to develop, and are more common in older adults, though it’s not uncommon for them to occur in people in their 20s and 30s, according to the Mayo Clinic.
At 80 years old, Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history and is speculated to be considering a re-election bid in 2024. Last month, Vice President Kamala Harris told NBC News Biden has made it abundantly clear he “intends to run,” while Jill Biden expressed frustration when asked by the Associated Press if her husband will run, saying, “How many times does he have to say it?” His age, however, has become a cause for concern among some Democrats. Only 37% of Democrats surveyed in an AP-NORC poll in January said they want him to run for a second term. Republicans, led by former South Carolina governor and 2024 GOP nominee Nikki Haley, have also called out Biden’s age. Last week, Haley proposed a “competency test” for politicians over the age of 75, including Biden as well as 76-year-old former President Donald Trump, who is set to run against Haley in the 2024 Republican primaries.