AP Photo/Phil Skinner
Former President Jimmy Carter has revealed that he has brain cancer, more than a week after he had announced that he had undergone liver surgery and was diagnosed with cancer, which had spread.
The 90-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who served as president of the United States between 1977 and 1981 and has since become a humanitarian activist, made his comments at a press conference at the Carter Center in Atlanta on Thursday. The former U.S. leader, who often smiled as he spoke, told reporters that doctors removed about a tenth of his liver and that he is set to undergo radiation and other treatments.
"They had a very high suspicion then and now that the melanoma started somewhere else in my body and spread to the liver," he told reporters. "They did an MRI and found there were four spots of melanoma on my brain. They are very small spots, about two millimeters, if you can envision what a millimeter is. I'll get my first radiation treatment for the melanoma in my brain this afternoon and then I understand I'll have four treatments scheduled in three week intervals."
"I've had a wonderful life, I've have thousands of friends and I've had an exciting, adventurous and gratifying existence so I was surprisingly at ease—much more so than my wife was," he added. "But now I feel, you know, it's in the hands of God, who I worship, and I'll be prepared for anything that comes."
The former president and wife Rosalynn Carter, who just turned 88, have been married for more than 69 years. They share three sons and a daughter.
His family has a history of pancreatic cancer. His father, both his sisters and his brother died of the disease, while his mother suffered from pancreatic cancer as well as breast and bone cancer.
The former president received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his "decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development." He had helped broker the 1978 Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt, a key peace agreement that helped stabilize part of the Middle East.
At the press conference, when asked what would give him the most satisfaction to see in the time he has left, he replied, "I would say peace for Israel and its neighbors."