Cancer has spread to President Carter's brain

- ATLANTA (KTVU and wires) — Former President Jimmy Carter announced Thursday his cancer has spread to his brain and that he expects the deadly disease would metastasize to other areas of his body.

Carter told reporters an MRI has revealed four small spots on the brain where cancer is present. He has been fitted with a face mask and doctors will use it to direct high-tech beams into his brain to attack the four spots.

The MRI was done shortly after doctors removed a cancerous growth from his liver.

"I was quite relieved (when doctors told him the liver procedure was a success) and then that afternoon we had an MRI of my head and neck and it showed that it (cancer) was in my brain," the former president told reporters. "I would say that night and the next day until I came back up to Emory I just thought I had a few weeks... But I was surprisingly at ease... I have had a wonderful like...I will be prepared for anything that comes up in the future."

While Carter did not comment on his doctors' prognosis, he did say he expects the cancer will spread elsewhere in his body.

Carter, 90, announced Aug. 12 that liver surgery found cancer that has spread to other parts of his body. The three-sentence statement did not identify the cancer or say where it originated.

Doctors not involved in treating Carter have said those characteristics could determine Carter's options for treating the cancer. His father, brother and two sisters died of pancreatic cancer. His mother also had the disease.

Carter's health has been closely watched this year. He cut short an election monitoring trip to Guyana in May. A spokeswoman said he did not feel well and Carter later said he had a bad cold.

The center announced Carter had a small mass removed from his liver Aug. 3. Nine days later, Carter said that surgery revealed the cancer.

Carter was the nation's 39th president, advancing as a virtual unknown on the national stage to defeat President Gerald Ford in 1976. But several foreign policy crises, in particular the Iran hostage crisis, crushed his bid for re-election and Ronald Reagan swept into the White House.

The native of tiny Plains, Georgia, rebuilt his career as a humanitarian guiding the center focused on global issues, including health care and democracy. Carter earned a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, helped defuse nuclear tensions in the Koreas and helped avert a U.S. invasion of Haiti.

He and his wife, Rosalynn, still make regular appearances at events in Atlanta and travel overseas. When the couple is in Plains, Carter frequently teaches a Sunday School class before services at Maranatha Baptist Church. He plans to teach this weekend as scheduled, according to the church.

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