President Reagan had "a small lesion" removed from his nose by his physician yesterday afternoon, the White House announced.
White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater said the lesion has been submitted for a biopsy to determine whether it is cancerous and the results probably would be announced today.
Presidential physician Col. John E. Hutton Jr. said in a statement that the lesion was removed under local anesthesia during a "routine procedure" at the White House. "This is a very common procedure, which is performed on many people who have had extended exposure to sunlight over the years," said the statement.
Reagan had a basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer that is rarely dangerous, removed from the right front of his nose in 1985, on July 30 and again on Oct. 10.
The cancer is especially prevalent in whites living in sunny places. People of Celtic ancestry such as Reagan have a particular susceptibility, studies have shown.
Physicians have said the skin cancers are unrelated to his colon cancer surgery that occurred in July 1985. Last month, during a follow-up colon examination, the president had two polyps removed that tests showed were benign.
Since the 1985 surgery Reagan, 76, has had four colon checkups. Each time, doctors removed small polyps, fleshy growths often found in the intestines of older people.
On Jan. 5, the president underwent prostate surgery in what the White House and his doctors described as a routine operation that showed "no suspicions of cancer."