ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - Former President Jimmy Carter announced that doctors had discovered cancer on his brain in a news conference Thursday morning.
In a coat, tie, and blue jeans, president Jimmy Carter walked in to a full house at the Carter Center in Atlanta.
He told reporters that doctors found four small tumors on his brain. He was scheduled to begin radiation treatment later in the day.
The announcement came after doctors at Emory University Hospital first discovered the cancer as a small mass on Carter's liver.
Doctors removed about 10 percent of his liver as well as most of the cancer there, but unfortunately it had spread.
Carter said Aug. 12 the cancer was discovered during his liver surgery, and it had spread to other parts of his body.
The former president said he was committed to any treatment plans that his doctors suggest to him.
He did admit that when he first heard news, he thought the outlook was bleak.
"I stayed that night and the next day until I came up to Emory. I just thought I had a few weeks left. But I was surprisingly at ease," he said.
For treatment, President Carter will have one radiation treatment every third week for 12 weeks.
"I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't go into an attitude of despair or anger or anything like that. I was just completely at ease," said Carter.
He also noted that the pain has been minimal so far.
A small part of Carter's family was in attendance at the news conference, and he thanked them for their support, but a large contingent of his family and friends are in his hometown of Plains- a place he calls his "haven."
"When I got out of the Navy in 1953, I came back to Plains. And I was a farmer there for about 17 years. And then when I got through being governor, I got back to Plains. When I got through being president, I came back to Plains," said Carter.
More importantly, it's what he and his wife Rosalynn have known best.
"My roots are there and my closest friends are there and our little church is there which is important to me," said Carter.
That church is a place where Carter spends many Sundays teaching Sunday school. He plans to teach there as long as he can.
President Carter said he and his wife, Rosalynn, will be cutting back their involvement at Emory and the Carter Center dramatically moving forward.
The Carter Center, located in Atlanta, has helped improve life for people in more than 80 countries by resolving conflict, advancing human rights and democracy, preventing disease and improving mental health care.