Given President Joe Biden's advanced age of 80, there are legitimate and serious concerns about the status of his health, both mental and physical.
On Friday, it was revealed by the White House that the president had a cancerous lesion removed from his body in a procedure that occurred last month, The Washington Times reported.
The procedure was deemed to be a success as all cancerous tissue was reportedly removed, and it was determined that no further treatment was necessary.
On Feb. 16, President Biden submitted to a "comprehensive health assessment," or annual physical exam, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and at that time was given a "clean bill of health" and declared to be "fit for duty" without any major concerns or need for "any exemptions or accommodations" from his responsibilities, per the Times.
Yet, on Friday, March 3, White House physician Dr. Kevin O'Connor sent a letter to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to reveal that the president also underwent a "dermatological procedure" while at the hospital for his annual exam.
During that procedure, "the president had a skin lesion removed from his chest" and that tissue was then "sent for traditional biopsy" to determine if it was cancerous.
O'Connor noted that "the biopsy confirmed that the small lesion was basal cell carcinoma" and that "all cancerous tissue was successfully removed.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, basal cell carcinoma is the "most common" form of skin cancer and most "frequently occurring" of all cancers, and it is estimated that around 3.6 million new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States.
While the most common, it is also the least dangerous of the different forms of skin cancer, as it is curable and generally causes "minimal damage" if caught and treated in the early stages of development. It rarely spreads, but if left untreated it can "grow and become disfiguring and dangerous" and become more likely to reoccur.
Basal cell carcinoma is typically caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun that damage DNA and cause "uncontrolled growth" in the surface-level cells of the skin.
According to Dr. O'Connor's letter to the White House, the area where the cancerous skin lesion was removed from President Biden was properly cleaned and it was determined that "no further treatment is required."
"Basal cell carcinoma lesions do not tend to 'spread' or metastasize, as some more serious skin cancers such as melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma tend to do," the doctor explained. "They do, however, have the potential to increase in size, resulting in a more significant issue as well as increased challenges for surgical removal."
O'Connor concluded that the wound had "healed nicely" and that the president would continue to be monitored for signs of any new incidences.
The Times noted that Biden had similar procedures performed to remove cancerous skin lesions prior to becoming president, as well as that first lady Jill Biden also had the procedure performed in January to remove cancerous lesions from above her right eye.