Jimmy Carter Faces the Cost of Melanoma Treatment

Jimmy Carter Melanoma

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, revealed on Thursday that he is up against stage IV melanoma. His skin cancer was discovered after a small mass on his liver was removed and biopsied earlier this month, revealing a diagnosis of melanoma, reports CNN. Tiny spots of melanoma were also found in the former president’s brain.

Carter, 90, will be undergoing treatment for his advanced melanoma from doctors at Emory University.

The Cost of Melanoma Treatment and Radiation Therapy for Jimmy Carter

Carter will undergo radiation treatment that will target the cancerous spots. Radiation therapy can cost between $10,000 and $50,000 for patients not covered by health insurance, according to CostHelper.com. Of course, the cost depends on the type of cancer and the number of treatments, among other factors.

The drug Pembrolizumab, known as Keytruda in the U.S., was approved by the FDA in September 2014. The drug is used when melanoma cannot be removed by surgery or has spread to other parts of the body. It costs $12,500 for monthly treatments, reports the Wall Street Journal. Carter is set to receive four treatments of this drug at three-week intervals, according to CNN.

In all, Carter’s melanoma treatment will likely be expensive. Former presidents could be entitled to health insurance coverage and medical care under the Former Presidents Act. However, “Jimmy Carter served a single presidential term, and, therefore, does not qualify for federally funded health benefits,” according to a report from the Congressional Research Service. Carter likely still has health insurance coverage of some kind and probably won’t have to cover his medical costs out-of-pocket.

Jimmy Carter’s Skin Cancer Puts Book Tour on Hold

Jimmy Carter’s skin cancer diagnosis forced him to put a book tour on hold and rearrange his schedule. The former president was promoting his latest memoir, “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety.” Putting the book tour on hold could possibly curb earnings for Carter, but it’s a sacrifice that needed to be made to get the former president the treatment he needs.

Carter’s finances hopefully won’t be hurt too much by this missed opportunity, especially with his already-sizable fortune. Jimmy Carter’s net worth of $5 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth, is still an impressive amount.

Keep reading: From JFK to Abraham Lincoln: The 10 Richest and Poorest U.S. Presidents

Watch: Jimmy Carter’s Legacy

Jimmy Carter served as the president of the United States from 1977 and 1981. Watch the video below from History.com to learn more about Carter’s presidency, his life after leaving the White House and his Nobel Peace Prize win.