Former US president Jimmy Carter no longer needs cancer treatment

Former US President Jimmy Carter takes a seat after delivering a lecture at the House of Lords in London early last month (Feb 3, 2016).
Former US President Jimmy Carter takes a seat after delivering a lecture at the House of Lords in London early last month (Feb 3, 2016). PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Cancer treatment for 91-year-old former US president Jimmy Carter has been so successful that he says he is going to stop receiving it.

The Nobel peace laureate had been undergoing radiation and other treatment after doctors found four melanoma spots on his brain. In December, he announced that he was cancer free.

The treatment "has worked very well for me", Carter said Sunday at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains in the southern state of Georgia.

"I had an MRI for two hours and 10 minutes and the doctors determined that I didn't need any more treatment, so I'm not going to have any more treatments," he said with a smile.

The 39th US president said he will have regular tests and would start treatment again if any cancer is detected.

The Democrat won plaudits when he discussed his illness publicly in August, sounding serene and in high spirits, smiling often and joking with reporters.

The melanoma was discovered after he had a tumour removed from his liver.

Carter, a onetime peanut farmer who was president from 1977 to 1981, is one of four living ex-presidents. The others are George HW Bush, Bill Clinton and George W Bush.

After his stinging defeat to Republican Ronald Reagan in 1981, Carter became a humanitarian, with his work taking him to countries such as Cuba, North Korea and Ethiopia.