President Joe Biden displays sunburned skin, a year post melanoma lesion removal

President Biden’s Sunburn Raises Concerns About Skin Cancer Risk

President Joe Biden, 81, returned from his New Year’s vacation with visibly sunburned skin, sparking concerns among experts about an elevated risk of deadly skin cancer.

While a single sunburn is generally not a precursor to melanoma, the president’s history of cancerous lesions and repeated sunburns has heightened concerns.

This article explores the potential consequences of sun damage on President Biden’s health.

Skin Cancer Risks and History:

President Biden’s previous bout with basal cell carcinoma in February 2023 adds to the worries. Dr.

Anisha Patel, a dermatologist at UT Health in Houston, emphasized the increased risk of melanoma due to sunburn, citing Biden’s history of basal cell carcinoma as evidence of UV damage capable of causing skin cancer.

However, the absence of melanoma so far is noted as a positive sign, considering the president’s age and genetic factors.

Sunburn and Melanoma Risk:

Dr. Deborah Sarnoff, president of the Skin Cancer Foundation, highlights the alarming statistic that just five sunburns can double the risk of developing melanoma.

A 2023 study also reveals a six-fold increased risk of melanoma in individuals who have previously had basal cell carcinoma.

Basal cell carcinoma, the most common skin cancer type in the US, often develops in sun-exposed areas and has a high success rate in treatment through surgery.

Differences Between Basal Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma:

While basal cell carcinoma has a survival rate of over 99%, melanoma is a less common but more aggressive form of cancer, constituting only one percent of annual cases.

Similar to basal cell carcinoma, melanoma risk is heightened by sunburn, which damages DNA within cells.

Early detection is crucial for melanoma survival, with warning signs including changes in existing moles.

President Biden’s Skin Cancer History and Routine Check-ups:

President Biden’s past treatments for non-melanoma skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, are outlined.

His physician notes the successful removal of all cancerous spots and assures routine check-ups to monitor his skin for any signs of recurrence.

Individuals with a history of basal cell carcinoma are advised to undergo dermatological checks every six to 12 months.

Understanding Basal Cell Carcinoma:

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is explained as a non-melanoma skin cancer comprising over 80% of skin cancer cases in the UK and US.
The causes, symptoms, and risk factors associated with BCC, such as fair skin, sun exposure, and personal history, are detailed.

BCC is generally painless, with early symptoms including scabs or scaly marks. Timely treatment is crucial for a successful outcome.


As President Biden faces concerns over his recent sunburn and potential skin cancer risks, experts stress the importance of continued monitoring and preventative measures.