The 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, says he has cancer. He said this on Wednesday, stating his recent liver surgery revealed he had the disease and has spread to other parts of his body, Reuters reported.
“I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare,” Carter, 90, said in a statement. “A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week.”
Carter, a Democrat, was president between 1977 to 1981; he lost his bid to get re-elected to Republican Ronald Reagan. Reuters adds that the Carter family has a history of pancreatic cancer, including his parents, two sisters and younger brother Billy Carter who all died from the disease.
Carter told the New York Times in 2007 that he and other relatives had given blood for genetic studies seeking to help doctors diagnose the disease.
Asked why he has escaped the disease for so long while it devastated the rest of his family he blamed smoking. “The only difference between me and my father and my siblings was that I never smoked a cigarette,” said Carter, former governor of Georgia and a state senator. “My daddy smoked regularly. All of them smoked.”