Last week, President Joe Biden had a polyp removed from his colon. The polyp was considered benign, but also potentially pre-cancerous.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a colon polyp is “a small clump of cells that forms on the lining of the colon. Most colon polyps are harmless. But over time, some colon polyps can develop into colon cancer, which may be fatal when found in its later stages.”
Mayo Clinic also said that these polyps can occur in anyone, but “[y]ou’re at higher risk if you’re 50 or older, are overweight or a smoker, or have a personal or family history of colon polyps or colon cancer.”
Biden’s Nov. 19 procedure first made headlines because he had to temporarily transfer the presidential powers to Vice President Kamala Harris since he was going under general anesthesia for the colonoscopy. Harris was the acting president for 85 minutes, according to CNN.
Biden turned 79 last week, which makes him the nation’s oldest president.
The White House doctor, Kevin O’Connor, put in a memorandum that the polyp removed from the president’s colon was a tubular adenoma. This is considered to be a “benign, slow-growing, but thought to be potentially pre-cancerous lesion for which no further action is required at this time.”
“As previously reported in my 19 November 2021 memorandum, President Biden had a benign appearing 3 mm polyp removed from his ascending colon. The specimen was sent for histologic examination,” O’Connor’s memorandum read.
Several diverticula (small pouches) were also removed from Biden’s colon, according to The Hill.
O’Connor said in his initial physical of Biden that he is “healthy,” “vigorous” and fit for duty, U.S. News reported.
This colonoscopy was part of a broader annual physical for the president.
O’Connor also said that the polyp removed was similar to one that Biden had removed in 2008, according to Reuters.
Overall, the report on the president’s health was positive.
However, there have been concerns about Biden’s age for some time. Even Democratic allies of the president have voiced their observations of his aging state.
In 2019, when Biden was campaigning and debating, potential voters remarked on his age. In July 2019, The New York Times reported on “Why Joe Biden’s Age Worries Some Democratic Allies and Voters.”
“It felt like he was a step slow … If Joe comes back strong in the next few debates, I think it’ll be fine. But I do think he looked kind of old in this debate,” Mike Lux, a Democratic strategist and staffer for Biden during his 1988 presidential campaign, said at the time.
According to a poll that Fox News conducted and released on Nov. 18, many are concerned that Biden’s age is currently interfering with his ability to be president.
The poll asked, “Regardless of whether you voted for him and how you feel about his policies, do you think Biden’s age is interfering with his ability to serve effectively as president?”
A majority, 53 percent, of respondents said yes. Only 40 percent said no while another 7 percent answered they didn’t know.
But O’Connor said that he thinks Biden is fit to serve.
“President Biden remains a healthy, vigorous, 78-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander in Chief,” O’Connor’s health summary said.
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