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Jill Biden may be the first lady of the United States, but that did not exempt her, or several of her predecessors, from the conversation that millions of citizens have had with doctors hearing the words, “It might be cancer.”
Jill Biden underwent a procedure known as a Mohs surgery, where two of the spots on her eyelid and chest were confirmed as basal cell carcinomas. Thankfully, she is expected to make a full recovery and she will have an opportunity to look to previous first ladies – namely Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan and Laura Bush – for inspiration on how to use her platform to raise awareness and educate the public about cancer.
Less than two months into her husband’s unexpected presidency, first lady Betty Ford was diagnosed with cancer. “Lying in the hospital, thinking of all those women going for cancer checkups because of me, I’d come to recognize more clearly the power of the woman in the White House. Not my power, but the power of the position, a power which could be used to help,” recalled Betty Ford remembering her story of going public with her breast cancer.