Houston, Aug 13: Former US president Jimmy Carter has said he has been diagnosed with cancer that has spread to other parts of his body. Carter, 90, who in January 1978 became the third ever US President to visit India, had a mass removed from his liver on Monday.
"Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body. I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare. A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week," Carter, the 39th president from 1977 to 1981, said in a statement yesterday.
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sent their best wishes to Carter for a fast and full recovery. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Rosalynn and the entire Carter family as they face this challenge with the same grace and determination that they have shown so many times before," Obama said in a statement.
"Jimmy, you're as resilient as they come, and along with the rest of America, we are rooting for you," Obama said. "This evening the President had the opportunity to speak with President Carter to wish him a full and speedy recovery. The President extended best wishes on behalf of himself and the First Lady," White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said in a statement yesterday.
Carter, a Democrat, served as the president from 1977 to 1981 after defeating Republican incumbent Gerald Ford. He was defeated for re-election in 1980 by Republican Ronald Reagan. The Carter Center in Atlanta said last week that he had undergone elective surgery at Emory University Hospital to remove a small mass in his liver.
It added that the operation had proceeded without issues and that the prognosis was excellent for a full recovery. Carter cut short a trip to Guyana in May after feeling unwell and returned to Georgia, where he served as governor and a state senator. He had traveled to the South American country to observe national elections. At the time, the center said only that Carter had departed after "not feeling well."
Republican Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and his wife issued a statement saying Carter was "in their prayers as he goes through treatment." A Nobel Peace Prize winner and activist on a range of issues from global democracy to women and children's rights, as well as affordable housing, Carter published his latest book last month, titled 'A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety.'