Early today Good Morning America host Robin Roberts announced that she has been diagnosed with the blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS.
Five years ago Roberts beat breast cancer, and it’s believed that the blood disorder may have been caused by the treatments she received.
MDS is a disease of the blood and bone marrow and was once known as pre-leukemia. Marrow.org says, “Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of diseases that affect the bone marrow and blood. Some types of MDS are mild and easily managed, while other types are severe and life-threatening. Mild MDS can grow more severe over time. It can also develop into a fast-growing, severe leukemia called acute myelogenous leukemia.”
About 10,000 to 15,000 people are diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes in the United States each year. Although MDS can affect people of any age, more than 80% of cases are in people over age 60. MDS is more common in men than in women.
Roberts will begin treatment, mainly chemotherapy, in preparation of a bone marrow transplant later this year. Roberts’ sister was found to be a match, and will donate her bone marrow.
Roberts says that she will continue to anchor GMA. “My doctors tell me I’m going to beat this — and I know it’s true.”