Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has released a brief statement saying he has been diagnosed with cancer that has spread to other parts of his body.
“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.”
Deputy Chief Medical Officer J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, M.D., had the following comments in response to the news.
“Currently, the American Cancer Society has limited information about President Carter’s cancer diagnosis. It is the decision of former President Carter and his family as to how much information they wish to share. We should not speculate on a diagnosis or treatment until we learn more details.
“It is not firm at this time whether the cancer started in the liver or spread from another part of the body. The likelihood is that this is a cancer from outside the liver, but we don’t know for certain.
“In similar situations a patient undergoes a series of tests to uncover the cancer’s origin, and sometimes that still doesn’t indicate where it came from. Doctors can also perform genetic analysis, which may help the care team make further treatment decisions.
“The President has a family history of pancreatic cancer. We cannot say whether that history has any bearing on his current circumstances. Going forward, the President and his family will weigh their medical decisions on what treatments to pursue.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they begin their journey that has been shared with so many others facing cancer.”