Former President Jimmy Carter announced Thursday that he will undergo immediate radiation treatment for four small melanoma spots on his brain.
Speaking from The Carter Center in Atlanta, the 90-year-old former president told reporters that he will begin radiation therapy later today, days after it was announced on Aug. 13 that Carter’s recent liver surgery revealed cancer that had spread to other parts of his body. Carter said he had hoped the cancer was confined to his liver.
“I just thought I had a few weeks left,” the nation’s 39th president said, upon hearing from doctors that melanoma had spread to his brain. “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 he told Rosalynn, 88, his wife of 69 years, and other family members about his cancer in June. Carter’s siblings and parents have all died from pancreatic cancer.
“I’ll be prepared for anything that comes,” he added.
Carter said he would have to cut back “fairly dramatically” his volunteer work at his nonprofit, but still plans on keeping a scheduled trip to Nepal in November to build houses with Habitat for Humanity.
Carter appeared on the NewsHour in July to discuss his 29th book, “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety.”