Jill Biden has undergone surgery to remove cancerous skin lesions from her face and chest, while a third lesion was removed from her left eyelid and sent for examination, the White House physician has said.
Accompanied by her husband, US President Joe Biden, the 71-year-old first lady spent more than eight hours at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre for the outpatient procedure.
White House physician Dr Kevin O’Connor confirmed that all cancerous tissue was removed.
He said examinations showed that the lesion over Mrs Biden’s right eye and one newly discovered on her chest were both confirmed to be basal cell carcinoma.
The lesion on her left eyelid was “fully excised, with margins, and was sent for standard microscopic examination”, he wrote in his report.
Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in basal cells, a type of cell within the skin that produces new skin cells.
It causes a pearly white, skin-coloured, or pink bump on the body, particularly on the face and ears. The first lady returned to the White House on Wednesday evening, with her press secretary saying she was “doing well and in good spirits”.
Dr O’Connor said Mrs Biden experienced “some facial swelling and bruising” following the procedure.
Mrs Biden’s office announced last week that her doctors had discovered the lesion above her right eye during a recent routine skin cancer screening.
The lesions that were removed from her chest and left eyelid were discovered on Wednesday.
Dr O’Connor also noted that doctors recommended removing the lesion from above Mrs Biden’s right eye “in an abundance of caution”.
Basal cell carcinoma is very common – as are squamous cell cancers, with around 3.3 million Americans getting one of those two types each year, according to The American Cancer Society, with sun exposure being the main risk.
The first lady underwent surgery the morning after she and her husband returned from a visit to Mexico City.
Mr Biden accompanied the first lady to the hospital, and has done for some of her previous medical appointments since he became president.
“Today is about his wife, that is the focus for the president right now,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
“This is about the president supporting his wife of 45 years.” (Sky)