Jill Biden had three skin lesions removed: NPR

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First Lady Jill Biden leaves the White House on January 11. She underwent surgery to remove three skin lesions and doctors said she would return to the White House later on Wednesday.

Susan Walsh/AP


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Susan Walsh/AP

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First Lady Jill Biden leaves the White House on January 11. She underwent surgery to remove three skin lesions and doctors said she would return to the White House later on Wednesday.

Susan Walsh/AP

First Lady Jill Biden had three skin lesions removed on Wednesday, two of which were found to be cancerous, but the cancerous tissue was removed and she is expected to return to the White House later in the day, her doctor said.

“The First Lady is experiencing some facial swelling and bruising, but is in good spirits and feeling good,” said Dr. Kevin O’Connor, physician to the president.

President Biden accompanied his wife to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, outside Washington, and stayed with her for about eight hours, leaving after O’Connor’s report was released. The president returned to the White House later in the afternoon, but the first lady planned to return separately later, the White House said.

A week ago, the White House announced that the first lady would have what’s known as a Mohs surgery to remove a small lesion above her right eye that was found during a routine skin cancer screening.

Basal cell carcinoma was confirmed in this lesion, O’Connor said. “All cancerous tissue was successfully removed and the margins were free of any residual skin cancer cells,” he said, noting that the area will continue to be monitored.

Doctors found two more injuries while the first lady was in hospital

As they prepped the first lady for surgery, O’Connor said doctors saw a second lesion on Jill Biden’s left eyelid, so they removed that as well and sent that away for microscopic examination.

They also identified “an additional area of ​​concern” on the left side of the chest and removed a lesion there using Mohs surgery. Basal cell carcinoma was also confirmed in that lesion, he said, noting that all cancerous tissue had been removed.

O’Connor said that basal cell carcinoma doesn’t tend to spread like other serious skin cancers, although it can grow in size, making them more difficult to remove.

What is Mohs Surgery?

The procedure was developed in the late 1930s by surgeon Frederic Mohs and is used to remove both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Basal cell carcinomas are the most common type of skin cancer, but they grow slowly, so they are usually mild and can be very treatable if caught early, the foundation said.

First, surgeons typically mark a patient’s biopsy site and numb the area to numb it. Patients are kept awake during the procedure.

The doctor then removes a visible layer of skin tissue from the area and takes it to the lab to be analyzed. There, they cut the fabric into sections, dye it, and map out the area it was taken from. A technician freezes the tissue, slices it thinly into horizontal sections, and places it under a microscope for examination.

If there are cancer cells, another layer is removed from the surgery site and the process is repeated until the cancer cells are gone.

Jill Biden has been an advocate for the fight against cancer

Elevating the fight to end cancer has been a top priority for Jill Biden as First Lady. The White House has said she has been involved since four of her friends were diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993. In 2015, her son Beau Biden died of brain cancer.

A year later, when he was Vice President, Joe Biden initiated the “Cancer Moonshot”, an effort to drastically reduce the number of cancer deaths. He and Jill Biden relaunched it last year.

The first lady frequently visits cancer research and treatment centers on her travels across the country to promote her work and encourage people to get tested. She also promotes the issue when meeting with wives of global political leaders. In October, she launched a series of roundtables at a White House event with artist Mary J. Blige, and in November, she attended a World Series game in Philadelphia to help promote the Major League Cancer Initiative. of Baseball.

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First Lady Jill Biden holds hands with singer Mary J. Blige during an event to launch the American Cancer Society’s National Roundtables on Breast and Cervical Cancer at the White House on Oct. 24.

Patrick Semansky/AP


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Patrick Semansky/AP

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First Lady Jill Biden holds hands with singer Mary J. Blige during an event to launch the American Cancer Society’s National Roundtables on Breast and Cervical Cancer at the White House on Oct. 24.

Patrick Semansky/AP

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