Written by By Kala Kapoor, CNN
Vice President Joe Biden endured the “worst five weeks of his life” when he learned that a polyp on his colon was benign, but it could have been cancerous, doctors said.
Biden, 74, revealed the incident in a new interview with ABC, which aired Sunday. In July, he traveled to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland after a bowel cleanse detected what was later found to be a polyp on his colon.
The visit came just over a year after the vice president underwent surgery to remove a small piece of his pancreatic cancerous tumor. After that procedure in 2017, Biden’s doctors felt the polyp was unlikely to be cancerous, but decided to run a test to check for precancerous changes.
“Before I went on to surgery, they did a little test in the middle of this all and it came back as a precancerous condition,” he told ABC. “And I had five weeks of the worst five weeks of my life trying to figure out what the hell was going on and how am I going to come back from this.”
While Biden had undergone several colonoscopies since being diagnosed with cancer in 2015, he said he had never been told about a polyp that could be potentially cancerous.
Biden has spent his entire public life fighting for human rights — most recently in Congress where he led the charge for gun control and immigration reform and developed a bond with President Barack Obama. Now retired from politics, he has written a memoir about his experience, as well as a play and movie, and directed a documentary on human rights.
“One of the things I knew I needed to do — and my wife helped a lot — was to learn to advocate in ways that make a difference,” he said in the ABC interview. “And so I have been doing that since.”