After successfully fighting breast cancer five years ago, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts is now contending with a new health emergency: she’s been diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome or MDS.
MDS is a rare blood disorder that usually arises on it’s own, but can also be caused by cancer treatments, as it was with Roberts. Referred to in the past as “pre-leukemia,” MDS can sometimes turn into leukemia, though it doesn’t always.
The main form of treatment for MDS is a bone marrow transplant. The degree to which the markers in the donor’s bone marrow match the recipient’s is an indication of the patient’s chances of recovery. Luckily for Roberts, her sister’s bone marrow has identical immune markers, making the chance of rejection very insignificant.
Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News’ Chief Health and Medical Editor, says that Roberts’ prognosis is good:
“Robin has a donor who is an excellent match, an important prognostic factor. And so importantly, she has the faith, the spirit, and the will to beat this.”
Dr. Besser is a pediatrician with 22 years’ experience. To learn more about Dr. Besser’s experience, visit his Vitals profile.