Busch treated for non-malignant skin cancer

House Speaker Michael E. Busch was treated this week for what he called a non life-threatening form of skin cancer -- a condition he attributes largely to his years of work as a lifeguard at a time when sunblock was less effective and often went unused.

Busch revealed the treatment, which involved cutting away an affected patch of skin on his leg,  during an interview on an unrelated topic. He said the condition is a basal cell cancer that is neither malignant nor life-threatening.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer and spreads to other parts of the body only in rare cases. However, the foundation says the condition can be disfiguring if not treated promptly.

Busch, 65, said he goes in every year to "get burned and scraped" and that he has previously been treated for cancers on his nose and other places.

The speaker said the condition hadn't cauised him to miss any work. It has had an impact on his thinking, however.

"I'll be a big advocate of sunblock for kids and anyone else," he said.

According to the foundation, basal cell cancer is almost always caused by excessive sun exposure. Use of sunblock is one of the recommended ways to prevent the condition.