Biden had a 'benign' polyp removed during his routine colonoscopy

Biden had ‘benign’ but potentially precancerous polyp removed during his routine colonoscopy last week, White House physician says

  • President Joe Biden, 79, had a ‘benign’ polyp removed during his colonoscopy last week, according to his physician Kevin O’Connor 
  • The doctor pronounced Biden to be ‘healthy’ and ‘vigorous’ and fit for duty 
  • The doctor also examined Biden’s ‘throat clearing’ and deemed it due to ‘greater attention’ to his public engagements and found no tumors on his vocal cords 
  • President Joe Biden had a ‘benign’ polyp removed during his routine colonoscopy last week, the White House announced Wednesday.

    The polyp, identified as a ‘tubular adenoma,’ was a ‘slow-growing, but thought to be pre-cancerous lesion,’ White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor said in a letter released Wednesday, adding that no more action is required at this time. 

    Biden, 79, was pronounced ‘healthy’ and ‘vigorous’ and fit for duty after his routine physical exam. 

    ‘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 wrote in his briefing dated November 19 – one day before the president’s birthday when he turned 79.  

    President Joe Biden, 79, had a three-millimeter ‘benign’ polyp removed during his routine colonoscopy last week 

    He also indicated the president had a similar polyp removed in 2008 and that it was 'tubular adenoma'

    He also indicated the president had a similar polyp removed in 2008 and that it was ‘tubular adenoma’ 

    The President’s physician of 13 years, Kevin O’Connor, (pictured) pronounced ‘healthy’ and ‘vigorous’ and fit for duty after his routine physical exam

    The pair pictured together in 2017

    The pair pictured together in 2017 

    The polyp was similar to one the president had removed in 2008, O’Connor said in the letter, which is dated Tuesday.

    ‘The President has never had colon cancer,’ O’Connor’s report said.  

    It was recommended that Biden should have another colonoscopy in seven to 10 years, along with routine surveillance. 

    His ‘throat clearing’ was also examined – which many members of the public have pointed out since Biden took office. O’Conner alluded that ‘greater attention is directed toward his public engagements’ than before and could cause Biden to feel the need to clear his throat more often. 

    The physician also ran a series of tests and found that the president’s ‘throat clearing’ could also be due to gastroesophageal reflux and found that there ‘were zero tumors or polyps, and his vocal cord appearance and function were normal.’ 

    O’Connor also looked into Biden’s ‘stiffen gait.’ 

    The president admitted to experience ‘stiffness’ in the morning. The physician also amounted the stiffen to several ‘orthopedic and sports-related injuries over the years’ and a fracture in his right foot from a year ago. 

    His stiffness was mainly found to be due to aging after undergoing a series of tests. 

    The public became increasingly concerned with the president’s health recently after he was seen several times looking confused and tripping up the steps of Air Force One. 

    The president tripped up the stairs of the plane at Joint Base Andrews in early November, which the White House later alluded to the heavy wind at the time.

    Two weeks later, Biden was boarding Air Force One as he stiffly walked up the steps in Pittsburgh. 

    A day earlier, he had referred to Vice President Kamala Harris – who was historically the first female president for 85 minutes while Biden underwent his colonoscopy – as ‘President Harris.’  

    The preventable cancer that affects nearly 20 per cent of American adults 

    What is colon cancer: 

    Colon cancer – also known as bowel cancer – typically starts in the large intestine/bowel.

    Around one in 20 Americans are diagnosed with disease.  

    The disease normally affects older adults over the age of 50 and begins with benign polyps. Over time the polyps can become cancerous. 

    Roughly 20 to 30 per cent of colon cancer patients will develop the disease following benign polyps. 

    Those with a family history of colorectal cancer – especially in parents or siblings – or has a history of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis for more than eight years are at a heighten risk.  

    Polyps can cause little to no symptoms in some patients and it is recommended to get regular screening tests. 

    Colon cancer can be treated several ways, including through surgery, radiation therapy and drug treatments, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.  

    The disease is preventable through early detection through colonoscopies and polyp removal. 

    The average age for patients to start getting colon cancer screenings is 45. Those with a family history of the disease are recommended to start getting tested earlier.  


    • Change in bowel habits with diarrhea, constipation or the feeling of incomplete emptying
    • Thin or loose bowel movements
    • Blood or mucous in stools
    • Abdominal pain, bloating and cramping
    • Anal or rectal pain
    • Lump in the anus or rectum
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Fatigue
    • Unexplained anemia

    Source: Cancer Council Australia, Mayo Clinic, ASCRS