As Robin Roberts, co-anchor for ABC's "Good Morning America," prepares for her medical leave, a physician says Roberts's case shouldn't frighten women from continuing surveillance of their breast health or treatment when breast cancer is diagnosed.
Roberts will leave the morning show to have chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant to fight her myelodysplastic syndrome, MDS, a condition that affects bone and bone marrow. She developed an aggressive form of the disease as a result of her breast cancer therapy several years ago.
"I want to emphasize this is a rare complication and rare event," said Dr. Robert Kraetsch, a hematologist and oncologist with SSM Cancer Care at St. Joseph Medical Park in St. Peters, Mo. "Most women with breast cancer have a much higher risk of breast cancer returning than developing MDS."
The risk of developing MDS is only 1.5 percent for women who undergo breast cancer treatment, he said. In his practice over four decades, his office has seen only 50 to 60 cases of the rare disease and all weren't the result of cancer therapy, he said.
Kraetsch explained Roberts's chemotherapy will be to put the disease into remission. The bone marrow transplant would replace the bone marrow -- which helps manufacture blood. He said that with modern medicine the treatment could involve stem cell therapy, also.
Roberts's sister will donate the marrow, Roberts says. That's very lucky for her, Kraetsch said. Black people have a small pool of bone marrow donors on the National Marrow Donor Program registry. And relatives aren't always a match, he said.
He hopes this episode will help enlist more people for the bone marrow transplant registry, he said.
Most Popular Stories
- Doctor Who Christmas Episode Begins Production
- HCL America Adding 1,200 IT Jobs
- Medical Mfg. Jobs Coming to Dayton
- Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury on Previously Unreleased Queen Cut
- Longtime Unemployed to Get Help in Las Vegas
- SpaceX Aims for Predawn Launch on Saturday
- U.S. Chamber Caught Up in Tax Inversion Question
- Women Key to Democratic Party: Clinton
- Feds Won't Say How Many Border Crossers Jailed
- Christie Didn't Order Bridge Shut Down, Feds Say