Joe Biden: Cancerous lesion removed from US president's chest, White House physician confirms

A lesion removed from President Joe Biden's chest a month ago was cancerous, a White House doctor has confirmed.

The lesion was a basal cell carcinoma - a common form of skin cancer - the president's long-term physician, Dr Kevin O'Connor, said on Friday.

Mr Biden, 80, requires no further treatment after "all cancerous tissue was successfully removed" during a routine physical examination at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on 16 February this year.

The site of the removal on his chest has "healed nicely", Dr O'Connor added.

Mr Biden will continue regular skin screenings as part of his routine health plan.

Basal cells are easily treated particularly when they are caught early, Dr O'Connor said.

They don't typically spread like other cancers but could grow in size, hence why they are removed.

Mr Biden was declared healthy and "fit for duty" by doctors last month.

About a month before his treatment, the president accompanied his wife of 45 years, Jill Biden, as she underwent surgery to remove two cancerous skin lesions on her face and chest, with a third taken from her left eyelid out of "an abundance of caution".

The first lady, 71, spent more than eight hours at the same medical facility in Maryland for the out-patient procedure.

The couple are long-term campaigners on fighting cancer after their son, Beau, died from brain cancer aged 46 in 2015.

Speculation over the president's medical status has been high since he first declared his bid for the White House in 2019 and has intensified since he said he intended to run for a second term in 2024.

He has yet to officially declare his re-election bid, although an official announcement is expected in the spring.

Mr Biden is already the oldest US president in history - and will be 86 at the end of his second term if he is re-elected.

He vowed to work with the Republicans in his State of the Union address in February - but political rivals branded him "unfit to serve as commander-in-chief", amid concerns from Democrat voters over his age.

Last week he stumbled on the steps of Air Force One as he boarded the jet to leave Poland on 22 February.

Two years earlier, he fell up the stairs as he got on the presidential plane at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, stumbling three times.

A White House spokesperson insisted it was a mere "mis-step", adding the president was "just fine and did not even require any attention from the medical team who travels with him."

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In November 2021, Mr Biden transferred his presidential powers to his deputy, Vice President Kamala Harris for a "brief period of time" while he went under anaesthetic for a routine colonoscopy.

He has previously suffered a series of health issues including an irregular heartbeat in 2003, while he was senator for Delaware.

Mr Biden also had surgery for two brain aneurysms in 1998 - but in 2014 an examination of the affected arteries showed them to be operating correctly.