Former President Jimmy Carter Says Cancer Has Spread to His Brain

by Antoinette Bueno 8:35 AM PDT, August 20, 2015
Playing Former President Jimmy Carter Says Cancer Has Spread to His Brain

Sad news for former president Jimmy Carter.

During a press conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday, Carter said that doctors found four "small" cancer spots in his brain and that he will begin radiation treatment later this afternoon. The 90-year-old politician's cancer, which he said was melanoma, had already been found in his liver, part of which was removed during surgery on Aug. 3.

Carter shared that he's "surprisingly at ease" with the tough news.

"I just thought I had a few weeks left. But I was surprisingly at ease. I've had a wonderful life, I've had thousands of friends, and I've had an exciting and adventurous and gratifying existence," Carter said. "So I was surprisingly at ease. Much more so than my wife [Rosalynn Carter] was. But now I feel that, you know, it's in the hands of God and my worship, and I'll be prepared for anything that comes."

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"I do have deep religious faith, which I'm very grateful for, and I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't go into an attitude of despair or anger or anything like that," he added. "I was just completely at ease."

On Aug. 12, Carter announced that his cancer had spread to other parts of his body aside from his liver. "I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare," he shared on his website for the Carter Center, his non-profit organization that works to advance human rights.

"So far the only place they've known about cancer has been my liver and my brain," he revealed on Thursday.

Carter's family has a history of cancer. His father, brother and two sisters died of pancreatic cancer, and his mother had breast cancer before it also spread to her pancreas.

The nation's 39th president said that former presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and current president Barack Obama have already called him to give their well-wishes. "[That's] the first time they've called me in a long time," he joked.

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So far, he says he hasn't experienced any weakness or debility.

"Hope for the best," Carter said about his current mindset. "And accept what comes."