McCain has spot of skin removed

July 28, 2008 4:55:58 PM PDT
Republican Sen. John McCain said Monday he had had a small patch of skin removed from his face and biopsied as part of a regular checkup with his dermatologist. "She said that I was doing fine," McCain, a three-time melanoma survivor, told reporters on a presidential campaign visit to an oil rig where he spoke briefly about his proposed energy plan. "She took a small little nick from my cheek, as she does regularly, and that will be biopsied just to make sure everything is fine."

The Arizona senator had the procedure performed near Phoenix during a checkup he undergoes every three months. He sported a small bandage on his upper right cheek on his campaign plane but had removed it by the time he spoke with reporters. A small, dark spot stood out on his face.

Later, the campaign issued a statement from Michael Yardley, chair of public affairs at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz. Yardley said the biopsy was ordered "as a precaution" and "is a routine minor procedure."

McCain urged people to stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen, particularly during the summer.

"If you ever have any slight discoloration please go to your dermatologist or your doctor and get it checked out as soon as possible," he said.

Asked if his doctor was confident the problem was nothing serious, McCain replied, "Sure, sure."

The Arizona senator, who suffered severe sun damage from his 5½ years in Vietnamese prison camps, gets an in-depth skin cancer check every few months because of a medical history of dangerous melanomas.