The White House doctor said in a memo that First Lady Jill Biden had two cancerous lesions removed on Wednesday.
The first lady, 71, had gone to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for surgery to remove a small lesion above her right eye. It was found during a skin cancer screening.
“The procedure confirmed that the small lesion was basal cell carcinoma,” said Dr. Kevin O’Connor.
During her pre-operative consultation, a second lesion, also confirmed to be basal cell carcinoma, was discovered on the left side of Biden’s chest, according to his memo. Both were removed during Mohs surgery, which was performed as an outpatient procedure.
While preparing her for the procedure, hospital staff discovered another lesion on her left eyelid, which was removed and is being tested, according to O’Connor.
“All cancerous tissue was successfully removed once more,” he added.
“As expected,” Biden “is experiencing some facial swelling and bruising” following the outpatient procedure, according to O’Connor, “but is in good spirits and feeling well,” adding, “She will return to the White House later today.”
Vanessa Valdivia, the first lady’s press secretary, later said Biden was “doing well” after returning to the White House on Wednesday evening.
“She sends her love and gratitude to all the doctors and nurses at Walter Reed for their expertise, care, and kindness, as well as to everyone who has sent her well-wishes and prayers,” Valdivia said.
The most common type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, is easily treatable if detected early. It affects the basal cells in the top layer of the skin.
O’Connor observed basal cell carcinoma lesions “do not’spread’ or metastasize like some more serious skin cancers such as melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma. They do, however, have the potential to grow in size, resulting in a more serious problem as well as increased surgical challenges.”