Former President Jimmy Carter says melanoma found on his brain

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Former President Jimmy Carter

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ATLANTA -- Former President Jimmy Carter described his cancer diagnosis Thursday morning, using a news conference at the Carter Center in Atlanta to say doctors had found four spots of melanoma on his brain.

"I'm going to cut back fairly dramatically on my obligations at Emory (and) at the Carter Center," Carter said Thursday, saying he'll get his first radiation treatment this afternoon.

"It is in the hands of the God who I worship," Carter said, adding he feels "good," and that he's following the recommendations of his doctors"I can't really anticipate how I'll be feeling. Obviously I'll have to defer quite substantially to my doctors who are in charge of the treatment," Carter said, saying he'll get his first radiation treatment this afternoon.

Carter said he would cut back at his work at the Carter Center and at teaching at nearby Emory University. He added he was still hoping to do work with Habitat for Humanity work in Nepal, but that it will again depend on his doctor's guidance.

Carter said so far the only places where cancer had been found in his body was in his brain and liver, though he also discussed his family's history with the disease.

"For a long time my family was the only one on earth that had four people who have died of pancreatic cancer," he said.

Carter had a "small mass" removed from his liver in an early August surgical procedure.

Carter, elected in 1976 and ousted in the 1980 election by Ronald Reagan, has a family history of pancreatic cancer -- a disease that claimed his father, brother and two sisters. His mother had breast cancer, which later spread to her pancreas.

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