"Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body," the former president, 90, said in a statement today. "I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare.
"A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week."
According to a statement, Carter underwent "elective surgery" at Emory University Hospital last week to remove “a small mass in his liver." The statement did not say whether the mass was suspected be cancerous at the time but simply that "the prognosis is excellent for a full recovery."
There is a history of cancer in Carter's family. His father, two sisters and brother all died of pancreatic cancer. His mother died of breast cancer.
Carter's grandson and former Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter has since taken to Twitter to offer thanks for an outpouring of support for the ill president.
Carter served as president from 1977 to 1981.