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Jimmy Carter says no negative effects from cancer treatment

Former US president Jimmy Carter has said he was keeping a positive outlook after completing the second round of cancer treatment, adding that he has had no negative effects from the medical regimen so far.

“I’m getting treated for it very well. There’s a new medicine that’s been developed for my disease. It’s called pembrolizumab. It took me three weeks to learn how to say it,” the 90-year-old Carter said at a press conference in Atlanta on Tuesday evening, his first official public appearance since his announcement a month ago that he has cancer.

Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, said that so far, he had experienced no adverse effects caused by the treatment he was receiving to eradicate four small spots of cancer that doctors found in his brain in August.

The former Democratic president said he still has to wait to see the effects of the drug he was taking to help his immune system destroy the cancerous cells.

On August 3, Carter underwent surgery to remove part of his liver after which doctors determined that the cancer had spread to other parts of his body.

The ex-president has an extensive history of cancer in his family, with his father and three siblings all dying of pancreatic cancer and his mother having breast cancer, which later spread to her pancreas.

After briefly mentioning his health situation, Carter, accompanied by his wife Roselyn, spoke for about an hour on the programmes and projects the Carter Center was pursuing around the world during a public question and answer session called “Conversation with the Carters”.