Former US president Carter's cancer has spread

Mr Jimmy Carter, 90, who left the White House in 1981, has been among the most active figures in American public life.
Mr Jimmy Carter, 90, who left the White House in 1981, has been among the most active figures in American public life.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Ex-leader given diagnosis after recent liver surgery, but few details revealed

ATLANTA • Former US president Jimmy Carter has announced that he had been given a diagnosis of a spreading cancer that was detected by recent liver surgery.

"I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment," Mr Carter, 90, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The announcement, which revealed few details about Mr Carter's condition, came nine days after doctors at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta had performed an elective procedure that removed "a small mass" from his liver. At the time, the former president's office said that "the prognosis is excellent for a full recovery".

Mr Carter, who left the White House in 1981 and has enjoyed the longest post-presidency in US history, has an extensive family history of cancer. His father and three siblings all died of pancreatic cancer, a disease also found in his mother.

Mr Carter gave no indication on Wednesday whether his pancreas had been affected, and his spokesman declined to elaborate beyond the former president's three-sentence statement.

In a 2007 interview, he said that doctors had long monitored him for pancreatic cancer and other ailments with a regimen that once included regular imaging studies.

Mr Carter has been among the most active figures in American public life, making him a particularly accessible former president.

He has continued to teach Sunday school at a Baptist church in Plains, Georgia, and has held annual meetings for freshman students at Emory, where he has been a faculty member for decades. Last month, he released a new memoir.

He has also remained deeply involved in the Carter Centre, the Atlanta-based nonprofit that he helped found in 1982, which has emerged as one of the most prominent human rights organisations.

In a phone call on Wednesday, President Barack Obama wished Mr Carter a quick recovery, the White House said.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2015, with the headline 'Former US president Carter's cancer has spread'. Print Edition | Subscribe