Jill Biden had three skin lesions removed : NPR

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First lady Jill Biden will walk out of the White House on January 11. She underwent surgery to remove three skin lesions and doctors said she would be back at the White House later on Wednesday.

Susan Walsh/AP


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Susan Walsh/AP


First lady Jill Biden will walk out of the White House on January 11. She underwent surgery to remove three skin lesions and doctors said she would be back at the White House later on Wednesday.

Susan Walsh/AP

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

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

President Biden accompanied his wife to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, just 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 in the late 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 undergo so-called Mohs surgery to remove a small lesion above her right eye found during a routine skin cancer exam.

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

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

While preparing the first lady for surgery, O’Connor said doctors saw a second lesion on Jill Biden’s left eyelid, so they also removed it and sent it for microscopic examination.

They also identified “an additional concern” on the left side of her 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 basal cell carcinoma doesn’t tend to spread like other serious skin cancers, although they can get bigger, 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 basal and squamous cell carcinomas, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

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

First, surgeons will usually mark the site of a patient’s biopsy and anesthetize 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 the area it was taken from. A technician freezes the tissue, further thinly slices it into horizontal sections and places it under a microscope for examination.

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

Jill Biden has been an outspoken advocate for the fight against cancer

Raising the fight to end cancer is one of Jill Biden’s signature priorities as first lady. The White House has said she’s 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, while serving as vice president, Joe Biden initiated the “Cancer Moonshot,” an effort to dramatically reduce cancer deaths. He and Jill Biden relaunched it last year.

The first lady regularly visits cancer research and treatment centers as she travels around the country to promote their work and encourage people to get screened. She also promotes the issue when she meets 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 Major League Baseball’s cancer initiative.

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

Patrick Semansky/AP


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

Patrick Semansky/AP

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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