White House doctor says Jill Biden is cancer free and feeling ‘very well’ after her Mohs surgery but still has bruising and swelling after lesions removed
- Jill Biden is declared cancer free after her surgery
- She had lesions removed from her face and chest last week
- First lady is feeling ‘very well’; still has some bruising and swelling
Jill Biden is cancer free after her Mohs surgery, the White House doctor announced in an update on Wednesday evening, but she is feeling ‘very well’ after the procedure.
The first lady had lesions removed from her face and chest at Walter Reed National Military Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. At least two of them – one from above her right eye and one of the left side of her chest – were determined to be cancerous but had all the cancerous tissue successfully removed.
The one from her left eyelid was sent out for a traditional biopsy but the results came back cancer free, Dr. Kevin O’Connor said in a letter released by the East Wing.
‘Results are consistent with a seborrheic keratosis,’ O’Connor wrote. ‘Seborrheic keratosis is a very common, totally harmless non-cancerous growth. No further treatment is required.’
Seborrheic keratosis is a common noncancerous skin growth that people tend to get as they get older. Seborrheic keratoses are usually brown, black or light tan.
‘Dr. Biden is recovering very nicely from her procedures,’ O’Connor said. ‘She experienced some anticipated mild bruising and swelling but feels very well.’
Jill Biden is declared cancer free after her surgery last week
The first lady was under anesthesia for about five hours for her Mohs surgery, which she had last Wednesday at Walter Reed National Military Hospital.
O’Connor said in a memo last week after her surgery that the first lady was experiencing facial swelling and bruising.
She had a lesion removed from above her right eye, which was confirmed to be basal cell carcinoma. Doctors also found a lesion on her chest, which appeared to be basal cell carcinoma, and doctors extracted. They later confirmed it was that type of skin cancer.
‘All cancerous tissue was successfully removed,’ O’Connor said.
Additionally, during the surgery, doctors also excised a lesion from her left eyelid and sent it in for additional testing. This is the one that was found to be benign.
President Joe Biden said last week his wife of 45 years is doing well but feeling some soreness.
‘She will be sore for a while because of the work they did on her eyes and — that’s where one of these were. But she has a 0 to 1% chance of the return of any cancer so thank God she is doing really well,’ he said.
Jill Biden thanked the hospital staff for their care.
Her spokesperson Vanessa Valdivia said in a statement last week that the first lady ‘sends her love and gratitude to all the doctors and nurses at Walter Reed for their expertise, care, and kindness, and appreciates all those who have sent her well-wishes and prayers.’
First Lady Jill Biden leaves the White House before outpatient surgery to remove a small lesion above her right eye, known as Mohs surgery
Dr. Kevin O’Connor update from after Jill Biden’s surgery last Wednesday
Mohs Surgery is an outpatient procedure where thin layers of skin are cut away and tested for cancer.
President Biden spent eight hours at the hospital to be with his wife during her procedure.
In his letter last Wednesday, O’Connor noted that ‘basal cell carcinoma lesions do not tend to spread or “metastasize” as some more serious skin cancers such as melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma are known to do.’
‘They do, however, have the potential to increase in size, resulting in a more significant issue as well as increased challenges for surgical removal,’ he wrote.
The first lady steps off Marine One at the National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland
Jill Biden, 71, is the oldest first lady in modern American history.
President Biden has accompanied her for two other medical procedures.
Prior to Wednesday’s procedure, Dr. Biden had a ‘common medical procedure’ done at an outpatient center near the George Washington University campus in April 2021, with the White House not disclosing additional details.
And, in July 2021, she traveled to Walter Reed to have debris removed from her foot after she stepped on an unnamed object while walking on a beach in Hawaii during a pit stop made in the state as she returned from the Tokyo Olympics.
It is not the Biden family’s first brush with cancer.
Beau Biden was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer called glioblastoma in 2013. He died in 2015.
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