Former President Jimmy Carter announced Thursday morning that he has melanoma.
After a recent surgery extricating a "small mass" from his liver, physicians at Emory University Hospital learned that the tumor was melanoma, Carter said at a remarkably detailed and candid press conference in Atlanta addressing his recent cancer diagnosis.
"They had a very high suspicion then and now that the melanoma started somewhere else on my body and spread to the liver," he said. Doctors soon found four spots of melanoma in his brain.
He'll undergo his first radiation treatment for his brain this afternoon, and he has four treatments scheduled at three-week intervals for the future.
Asked by reporters for his reaction to the news, Carter, 90, said he has had "a wonderful life" and was "pleasantly surprised" that he did not despair.
"I have got thousands of friends and I have had an exciting and adventurous and gratifying existence, so I was surprisingly at ease," he said. "Much more so than my wife was. But now I feel, you know, it's in the hands of God and my worship, and I'll be prepared for it when it comes."
When Carter had the initial liver surgery, the Carter Center said in a statement that his prognosis was "excellent." But on August 12 he announced that he has cancer, and it has spread. He also indicated that he'd make a "more complete public statement" when he knew more, as he did Thursday.