ABC anchor Robin Roberts to undergo bone marrow transplant - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

ABC anchor Robin Roberts to undergo bone marrow transplant

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"Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts revealed on Monday that she will undergo a bone marrow transplant later this year. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts revealed on Monday that she will undergo a bone marrow transplant later this year. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

(RNN) - Five years off a fight with breast cancer, Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts faces another battle with her health - myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS - and will undergo a bone marrow transplant.

"Sometimes the treatment for cancer can lead to other serious medical issues and that's what I'm facing right now," she said with a quivering voice in an emotional announcement on Monday's GMA. "If you're looking it up going 'What?' I was doing the same thing."

MDS is a disease of the bone marrow.

Roberts says she has known of the diagnosis for some time, but decided to reveal it to viewers on Monday because she begins pre-treatment immediately and will likely be wearing a bandage on air in the coming days.

She will undergo the bone marrow transplant in the summer or early fall.

"You have heard me say I'm abundantly blessed," she said. "The reason I say I'm blessed is, my big sister is a virtually perfect match for me. She is going to be my donor."

A person's best chance at a bone marrow match usually comes from family members.

Perfect matches are also generally found within a patient's same race. Statistics show minority patients tend to have a harder time finding a perfect match because there are fewer marrow donors from those ethnicities.

Roberts says her prognosis is good because she has a perfect match and is younger and fitter than most who receive the same diagnosis.

"Bottom line, I am going to beat this. My doctors say it and my faith says it," Roberts said.

In the meantime, Roberts will continue to anchor the show, but will be out "for a chunk of time" after receiving the transplant.

"It's about focusing on the fight, and not the fright," she said.

"I'm like everyone who faces some life altering situation, whether it's your health or finances or what. And it's getting up off the mat and fighting. I want to be here. I don't have to be here, I want to be here while I can," she said.

Signing up to be a bone marrow donor starts as simply as getting a cheek swab.

Actually donating marrow requires outpatient surgery. Doctors extract marrow inside the pelvic bone through a syringe. Patients are anesthetized during the procedure but often experience soreness for the next week or so. Patients should be back to a normal routine after about a week.

For more information about bone marrow donation or to sign up to become a donor, visit www.bethematch.org.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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