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5 Jan, 2023 04:12

US first lady plans surgery after cancer screening

President Joe Biden also had “non-melanoma skin cancers” removed before taking office
US first lady plans surgery after cancer screening

US First Lady Jill Biden will undergo surgery to remove a skin lesion spotted during a recent cancer screening, her office said, noting the procedure will take place at a military hospital in the nation’s capital later this month.

White House physician Kevin O’Connor announced the upcoming operation on Wednesday, saying a lesion was discovered above the first lady’s right eye during a “routine skin cancer screening.”

“In an abundance of caution, doctors have recommended that it be removed,” O’Connor said, adding that Biden will “undergo a common outpatient procedure known as Mohs surgery to remove and definitively examine the tissue.”

The operation is set for January 11 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC, where presidents and their close relatives often receive treatment for health problems.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Mohs surgery is a common treatment for cancerous lesions and involves the removal of thin layers of skin until only cancer-free tissue remains. It is often carried out in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia, meaning patients are usually allowed to return home afterward and require no hospital stay.

At ages 71 and 80, respectively, Jill and Joe Biden are the oldest sitting presidential couple in American history – a fact which has occasionally prompted concerns about the president’s ability to perform his duties, even among his own allies.

Before taking office, President Biden also underwent the Mohs procedure, with his medical records showing he had “several localized, non-melanoma skin cancers removed.” While the records indicate the lesions were “completely excised” and posed no further health risk, the president stoked speculation of a possible cancer diagnosis last July after saying: “I and so damn many other people I grew up [with] have cancer.” The White House later clarified that Biden was referring to his previous skin lesion treatments, not a new bout with cancer.

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