Jimmy Carter Has Melanoma on the Brain
He starts radiation treatment today
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2015 9:18 AM CDT
Former President Jimmy Carter discusses his latest book, "A Full Life," at the Carter Center, July 15, 2015, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Ron Harris)

(Newser) – Jimmy Carter addressed his recent cancer diagnosis very specifically today, outlining the history of his recent medical condition. A very bad cold in May led him to get an exam; an MRI showed a cancer growth on his liver, and about a tenth of his liver was removed in early August. A biopsy revealed it was melanoma. "They had a very high suspicion that it started somewhere else ... only 2% of melanoma is internal. They found there were four spots of melanoma on my brain"; they're small, about 2 millimeters. He'll get his first radiation treatment this afternoon and will have four treatments at three-week intervals while also taking a drug for melanoma.

When asked about his reaction to learning about the cancer on the brain, he says, "I just thought I had a few weeks left. But I was surprisingly at ease. I've had a wonderful life, thousands of friends, and an exciting, gratifying, and adventurous existence. I was surprisingly at ease, more than my wife is. Now I feel it's in the hands of God." He said for a number of years he and his wife thought about reducing their work at the Carter Center; he intends to dramatically cut back now and said the center has a $600 million endowment to support it. "I can't anticipate how I'll be feeling honestly and will have to defer to my doctors," he says. But for now, "I feel good. I haven't felt any weakness. The pain has been very slight."