Washington, D.C. — First lady Laura Bush had a skin cancer tumor removed from her right shin in early November. The procedure was not disclosed until Monday night.
The cancer was identified as a squamous cell carcinoma, a malignant tumor that is the second most common form of skin cancer.
Explaining why the procedure was not disclosed until now, the first lady's press secretary Susan Whitson said, "This medical procedure was a private matter for Mrs. Bush, but when asked by the media today, we answered the question."
The first lady was noted wearing a bandage on her right leg before the election. At the time Whitson said Mrs. Bush had a sore on her shin.
In late October, Mrs. Bush had a biopsy because the sore was not healing, Whitson said, and it was determined to be a squamous cell carcinoma.
Whitson said Mrs. Bush's tumor was removed under a local anesthetic.