Joe Biden had cancerous skin lesion removed successfully in February
United States (US) President Joe Biden had a cancerous skin lesion successfully removed in February from his chest, his doctor announced on Friday. In an official White House release, Biden's physician, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, said the lesion was a basal cell carcinoma that doesn't tend to metastasize or spread and was first detected during a routine medical checkup.
Why does this story matter?
- This health update comes as Biden, the US' oldest-ever president, is expected to declare his candidacy for re-election in 2024, and his health is under scrutiny.
- Biden's Republican opponents have frequently questioned his ability to serve as president due to his age, citing examples of his slurred speech and confusion.
- Notably, since his brain surgery in 1988, Biden has had no significant health issues.
Biden underwent surgery on February 16: O'Connor
According to the report, the lesion was removed during the 80-year-old's yearly medical checkup on February 16, after which Biden was pronounced "fit for duty." At the February health checkup, the US President also underwent numerous other examinations that he started last year at Washington DC's Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, reported the news agency AFP.
Biden to continue regular skin screenings: O'Connor
In Friday's report, O'Connor said: "The site of the biopsy has healed nicely, and the president will continue dermatologic surveillance as part of his ongoing comprehensive healthcare." He also added the president would undergo skin screenings regularly as part of his health examination. To note, O'Connor is the White House doctor and has served as Biden's physician for a long time.
Know about Biden's health report from February
In the annual medical tests conducted in February, the White House doctor said: "President Biden remains a healthy, vigorous, 80-year-old, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those of as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander in Chief."
All you need to know about Basal cell cancer
Basal cell carcinoma can be described as slow-growing cancer that is usually confined to the skin's surface. Basal cells are one of the most easily-treated and common forms of cancer, especially when detected early. While doctors can almost always remove it fully with a shallow incision, it is rarely the cause of severe health complications or turns life-threatening.
Know about US president's health examination process
The annual health checkup is not a mandatory one by law but has become a common practice for US presidents to reveal precise details about their present healthiness. To note, the usual tests during the physical examination include blood sugar, cholesterol, weight, heart rate, and blood pressure. However, not all health details about the president are released to the public.
Biden's age remains key talking point ahead of presidential polls
Last year in July, Biden tested COVID-19 positive. Just hours later, the 80-year-old reassured Americans that "it's going to be OK" and confirmed that his symptoms were "mild." Biden has showcased tremendous stamina for his age since taking charge of the White House, traveling frequently, and making public appearances. However, the 80-year-old's age remains a regular target for the Republicans.