Jimmy Carter: I have cancer, and it has spread

Former president has helped fight guinea worm, other preventable diseases

Former president Jimmy Carter on Wednesday said that doctors during a recent liver surgery discovered he has cancer that has spread to other parts of his body.

Carter announced in a statement that he will be undergoing treatment at Emory Healthcare. He said, "A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week."

Carter, age 90, served as president between 1977 and 1981. For about 30 years, Carter has worked to eradicate preventable diseases, including river blindness and guinea worm, through the Carter Center. His efforts have helped cases of guinea worm decline from 3.5 million in 1986 to 126 last year. According to the Cater Center, guinea worm is projected to become the second human disease—after smallpox—to be eradicated.

President Obama said in a statement, "Our thoughts and prayers are with [Carter's wife] 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." He added, "Jimmy, you're as resilient as they come, and along with the rest of America, we are rooting for you" (Nakamura, "Post Politics," Washington Post, 8/12; McWhirter, Wall Street Journal, 8/12).

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