Bush has benign lesion removed from forehead

WASHINGTON Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:37pm EDT

President George W. Bush speaks about Hurricane Ike as Vice President Dick Cheney listens at the White House in Washington September 15, 2008. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President George W. Bush speaks about Hurricane Ike as Vice President Dick Cheney listens at the White House in Washington September 15, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush, 62, had a non-cancerous skin lesion removed from his forehead during the weekend, the White House said on Tuesday.

"This was a seborrheic keratosis, an extremely common, benign skin lesion that he has had in the past," said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel. "The dermatologist froze the 'spot' this past weekend."

The American Academy of Dermatology describes this type of lesion as "non-cancerous growths of the outer layer of skin," which are typically brown in color and can range in size from a fraction of an inch in diameter to larger than a half dollar.

The cause for such lesions is unknown.

Last year he had two non-cancerous lesions removed from his head and in 2006 he had a pre-cancerous lesion removed from his arm.

In 2003, Bush had four small lesions of a different type taken off his cheeks and left arm, called actinic keratoses, which are usually caused by the sun. Such growths are usually removed because they can eventually develop into squamous cell skin cancer.

Bush is an avid outdoorsman, adding to his exposure to the sun by spending time mountain biking and clearing brush on his Texas ranch.

(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky and Maggie Fox, editing by Patricia Zengerle)

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