A lesion on President Biden’s chest removed during last month’s annual physical exam was a basal cell carcinoma, and all cancerous tissue was successfully removed, his doctor said Friday.
Kevin O’Connor, the president’s physician, wrote in a memo that a biopsy confirmed the small lesion was basal cell carcinoma, one of the most common types of skin cancer. The area was treated at the time of the biopsy and no further treatment is required, O’Connor wrote.
“The site of the biopsy has healed nicely and the President will continue dermatologic surveillance as part of his ongoing comprehensive healthcare,” the doctor wrote.
The president previously had nonmelanoma skin cancers removed before he was elected to the White House. First lady Jill Biden earlier this year underwent Mohs surgery at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., to remove two skin lesions that were later determined to have been basal cell carcinomas.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, with more than 3 million cases diagnosed each year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Because they grow slowly, they are typically treatable with minimal damage when caught early.
The cause of ending cancer has been personal for Biden, whose son Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46. The president has talked about ending cancer throughout his campaign and presidency, saying it would be a priority for him.
Biden relaunched the Cancer Moonshot program in February 2021, with the goal to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years and improve the lives of caregivers and cancer survivors. Biden oversaw the original moonshot initiative during the final years of the Obama administration.
Biden had his annual physical exam at Walter Reed last month. O’Connor wrote afterward that he “remains a healthy, vigorous, 80-year-old male” who is fit to carry out the duties of the presidency.
The president’s health is likely to be under close scrutiny over the next two years as he is expected to run for reelection. Biden would be 82 at the start of a second term if he were to win reelection, and Republicans have frequently questioned whether he is physically and mentally up to doing the job.
Updated at 3:42 p.m.