What is basal cell carcinoma? Jill Biden had cancerous lesions removed

First Lady Jill Biden has been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma after removing at least two cancerous skin lesions.

Biden had three lesions removed during surgery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Wednesday. The procedure was announced last week after the discovery of a suspicious lesion on the first lady’s eyelid, which after removal turned out to be basal cell carcinoma.

The cancer was removed by Mohs surgery, a relatively common and low-risk operation that’s usually performed on an outpatient basis. Two other lesions were discovered and removed while Biden was examined by doctors Wednesday, one of which was also determined to be basal cell carcinoma.

“All of the cancerous tissue was successfully removed and the margins were free of any residual skin cancer cells,” Presidential Physician Kevin O’Connor said in a statement divided on Twitter by Vanessa Valdivia, Jill Biden’s publicist. “[We] do not assume that further procedures will be necessary.”

“As expected, the First Lady is suffering from swelling and bruising to the face but is in good spirits and at ease,” he added. “She will return to the White House later today.”

Basal Cell Carcinoma Jill Biden Skin Cancer
First Lady Jill Biden is pictured at an event in Mexico City, Mexico on January 9, 2023. The inset shows a close-up of a cancerous basal cell carcinoma skin lesion. Biden had three skin lesions removed from her face on Wednesday, two of which turned out to be basal cell carcinoma.
RODRIGO OROPEZA/AFP; jax10289/GettyImages

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer and one of the most curable of all cancers, due in part to the slow growth rate of the lesions. Basal cells are present in the outer layer of skin, with carcinomas forming when cells grow abnormally, typically after exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Although basal cell carcinomas generally pose a low risk because they rarely spread, the lesions can become “disfiguring and dangerous” if left untouched, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Lesions are typically found on areas of skin that have been exposed to the sun and may appear “as open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, scars, or growths with slightly raised, rolled edges and/or a central depression.” according to the foundation.

“Basal cell carcinoma lesions do not tend to ‘spread’ or metastasize as is known in some more serious skin cancers such as melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma,” O’Connor said. “However, they have the potential to increase in size, leading to a more significant problem as well as increased challenges for surgical removal.

President Joe Biden also had several “surgical removals of localized, non-melanoma skin cancers before he became president,” according to a November 2021 report by O’Connor.

Melanoma has the highest mortality rate of any skin cancer, although it accounts for only 1 percent of all cases. The second most common form of skin cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, which is generally considered curable, although somewhat more dangerous than basal cell carcinoma.

news week has reached out to the White House and the National Skin Cancer Foundation for further comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/what-basal-cell-carcinoma-jill-biden-has-cancerous-lesions-removed-1773142 What is basal cell carcinoma? Jill Biden had cancerous lesions removed

Rick Schindler

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