Former US president Jimmy Carter has cancer spots on his brain

Aug 20, 2015, 23:28 IST | PTI

Houston: Former US president and Nobel peace laureate Jimmy Carter announced on Thursday that doctors have found cancer spots on his brain and will begin radiation treatment immediately, saying he is "at ease with whatever comes." 

Carter, 90, said doctors have found four spots of melanoma on his brain, and that he would immediately receive his first radiation treatment.

"I'm perfectly at ease with whatever comes," he said. 

Jimmy CarterFormer President Jimmy Carter discusses his cancer diagnosis during a press conference at the Carter Center on Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia. Pic/AFP

"They did an MRI and found that there were four spots of melanoma on my brain," Carter told reporters. "I get my first radiation treatment for the melanoma in my brain this afternoon."

The cancer in Carter's liver was already removed during surgery. He said it was likely that more cancer will be found elsewhere in his body. 

Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, has suffered bouts of illness in recent years but has remained extremely active, travelling the world to promote fair elections and improved public health through the Carter Centre, which he founded after leaving office.

Several foreign policy crises, particularly the Iran hostage crisis, crushed his bid for re-election and Ronald Reagan was elected to the White House. 

Carter is better known for his decades of humanitarian work since leaving the White House. Carter was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. He helped defuse nuclear tensions in the Koreas and also helped avert a US invasion of Haiti. 

The former US president said he would consult with his doctors as to how much work and travel he can manage.

"I feel good. I haven't felt any weakness or debility," he said.

Carter cut short a trip to Guyana in May to observe national elections, returning to Atlanta because he was "not feeling well," the Carter Centre said at the time. 

This summer Carter has been travelling the country to promote his latest book, "A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety," which was released in July. 

Carter's father, brother and two sisters died of pancreatic cancer. His mother also had the disease. Carter said no cancer has been found on his pancreas so far. 

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