Carter will receive new drug for cancer treatment

Pres. Carter ready to battle cancer

FRIDLEY, Minn. - Former President Jimmy Carter says his cancer has shown up in his liver and on his brain and that he will undergo radiation treatment.

Carter said in his first public remarks since his diagnosis that the cancer was first discovered as a tumor on his liver. On Aug. 3, he says, he underwent surgery to remove the tumor. He says about one-tenth of his liver was removed.

But he says that later, four spots of melanoma were found on his brain. He says he will have his first radiation treatment Thursday afternoon.

Twin Cities oncologist Dr. Tom Amatruda of Minnesota Oncology says despite Carter's age, the radiation treatment is not as hard on the body as you might think.

"With that, people usually aren't too symptomatic. We've certainly given it to people in their 80s and later," Amatruda said.

Carter will receive drug therapy known as immunotherapy. The drug Keytruda, was just approved by the FDA last year and has provided optimism among doctors treating melanoma.

Dr. Armatruda still predicts a tough fight for Carter.

"The chances are that other spots will appear. So the important thing now will be what kind of therapy he takes try to keep the other spots for appearing or growing or holding them in check," he said.

The former chief executive says he will cut back "fairly dramatically" on work at his Carter Center in Atlanta.

Carter says he is not feeling despair or anger over his health. He says he feels good, with only slight pain.

He says: "I'm perfectly at ease with whatever comes. I'm ready for anything. I'm looking forward to a new adventure."


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