Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan has been diagnosed with two forms of treatable skin cancer and will have several lesions removed from his face and body this weekend.
“It’s basal cell and squamous cell, not melanoma, which is a serious, life-threatening condition,” Hogan, 61, told reporters on Thursday. “It’s basically sun damage, [the result] of many years of not protecting myself with sunscreen.”
In 2015, just five months after taking office, Hogan (R) shocked state residents by announcing that “very advanced and very aggressive” non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma had spread throughout his body. He was successfully treated at the University of Maryland Medical Center and now undergoes follow-up PET scans every 90 days.
“I’m completely done with that previous cancer, which was a serious one,” Hogan said. “There are no signs of that returning whatsoever. Still 100 percent in remission, cancer-free.”
An Annapolis dermatologist will remove four lesions — three on his face, one on his torso. “Luckily, scars are cool,” he said. “I hate to mess with this beautiful face, but I’m going to have some stitches.”
In a letter released by Hogan’s office, Beth Diamond, the governor’s doctor, said the lesions were biopsied following his annual skin examination. She said the surgical procedure she will perform “has an extremely high cure rate and a very low likelihood of recurrence.”
Like former Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D), who also grew up in Florida and also was diagnosed with skin cancer while in office, Hogan believes exposure to the sun in his youth caused damage to his skin
“One of the best jobs I ever had before becoming governor was being a lifeguard in Florida for six years.,” Hogan said. “I wanted to look good, with a dark tan, so I never put sunscreen on. And I spent a lot of time baking in the sun. My advice to everybody out there is to please pay attention when they tell you to use sunscreen.
“I was not smart enough to follow that advice.”
Hogan said he will be back at work Monday.