Former U.S. President Carter is cancer-free

Former US president Jimmy Carter [photo: Commons Wikimedia/Commonwealth Club from San Francisco, San Jose, United States]
Former US president Jimmy Carter [photo: Commons Wikimedia/Commonwealth Club from San Francisco, San Jose, United States]

After undergoing treatment for cancer that was removed from his liver for sometime, former President Jimmy Carter said that he was free of the disease.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Mr. Carter said his most recent M.R.I brain scan indicates no signs of original cancer spots or new ones.

Mr. Carter, 91, has been undergoing treatment for metastatic melanoma since August. He said he will continue receiving regular immunotherapy treatments using the drug pembrolizumab, according to reports by the New York Times (NYT).

Doctors reportedly discovered he had cancer early in the summer, and he underwent elective surgery on Aug. 3 to remove a small mass from his liver. The procedure revealed that the cancer had spread to other parts of his body, and doctors found four small lesions on his brain.

Experts say the disease is often accompanied by a poor prognosis, but Mr. Carter “appeared to have benefited from early detection.”

He started a treatment regimen in August that involved a highly targeted form of radiation therapy and pembrolizumab, which has been shown to help some melanoma patients live months or even years longer than expected. By Nov., it was found that he was responding well to the treatment and that the cancer showing no signs of further growth.

“His greatest risk was that he was going to get disease developed in new locations, but seemingly that hasn’t happened,” said Dr. Dale Shepard, an oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

While the former president’s case demonstrated progress with the therapies when given appropriately, Shepard said it was too soon to declare that the former president is cured.

Mr. Carter served as the 39th president from 1977 to 1981.

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