Former President Jimmy Carter reaches to embrace his brother Billy's widow Sybil while greeting family Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015, following service at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga. Carter's nieces Mandy Flynn, left, and Jana Carter are also pictured. Sunday at church was emotional because it was the first time many members had seen Carter since his announcement that he has cancer. (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Former President Jimmy Carter reaches to embrace his brother Billy’s widow Sybil while greeting family. (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Former President Jimmy Carter plans to discuss his recent cancer diagnosis Thursday for the first time since revealing last week that he was ill.

Carter, 90, is scheduled to hold a news conference at 10 a.m. at the Carter Center in Atlanta. The event will be closed to the public.

Carter announced Aug. 12 that liver surgery found cancer that has spread to other parts of his body. The three-sentence statement did not identify the cancer or say where it originated.

Doctors not involved in treating Carter have said those characteristics could determine Carter’s options for treating the cancer. His father, brother and two sisters died of pancreatic cancer. His mother also had the disease.

Carter’s health has been closely watched this year. He cut short an election monitoring trip to Guyana in May. A spokeswoman said he did not feel well and Carter later said he had a bad cold.

The center announced Carter had a small mass removed from his liver Aug. 3. Nine days later, Carter said that surgery revealed the cancer.

Carter was the nation’s 39th president, advancing as a virtual unknown on the national stage to defeat President Gerald Ford in 1976. But several foreign policy crises, in particular the Iran hostage crisis, crushed his bid for re-election and Ronald Reagan swept into the White House.

The native of tiny Plains, Georgia, rebuilt his career as a humanitarian guiding the center focused on global issues, including health care and democracy. Carter earned a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, helped defuse nuclear tensions in the Koreas and helped avert a U.S. invasion of Haiti.

He and his wife, Rosalynn, still make regular appearances at events in Atlanta and travel overseas. When the couple is in Plains, Carter frequently teaches a Sunday School class before services at Maranatha Baptist Church. He plans to teach this weekend as scheduled, according to the church.

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AP Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione in Milwaukee contributed to this report.

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