Robin Roberts: A Profile In Courage
The ‘GMA’ anchor and cancer survivor reveals her 10 ‘health heroes.’
”Aahh! ABBA!” Robin Roberts exclaims. She takes a spin around the floor and waves her arms as the opening bars of ”Dancing Queen” fill the air.
What a difference 2 and a half years makes. That’s when ABC’s Good Morning America anchor was in isolation at New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her 5-foot-10-inch frame was down to a gaunt 115 pounds as she fought her way back from high-dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Those treatments were the only option for curing myelodysplastic syndrome , in which the body’s bone marrow doesnât make enough healthy blood cells.
Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. She acknowledges that was a blow. ”But breast cancer, you kinda know what that is, and you know people who’ve gone through it,” she says.
The MDS diagnosis, which came in 2012, was much harder. ”I had never heard of it. I didn’t know anyone who had MDS.”
Without fully functional red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, people with MDS are vulnerable to anemia, infections, and uncontrolled bleeding. In nearly 1 in 3 cases — especially in cases of ”secondary MDS,” which follows chemotherapy or radiation for cancer, as Roberts’ did — MDS progresses to acute myeloid leukemia. But Roberts heartily disagrees with those who refer to it as ”pre-leukemia.” ”There’s nothing ‘pre’ about it. It’s full on!”
General Surgery Before Plastic Surgery
Many people dont know that all Plastic Surgery residents are required to have at least three years of general surgery training prior to beginning their plastic surgery fellowship. These three years must be completed at the same general surgery training program, and a letter of recommendation from the Chairperson of Surgery must be included with every application. These prerequisites help assure the best quality applicants, and eventually the highest quality Board Certified Plastic Surgeons.
Rather than completing the three year minimum, I had the privilege of completing a full General Surgery training program, and becoming Board Certified by the American Board of Surgery, an honor I continue to maintain via Maintenance of Certification and recertification examinations.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Cancer
Knowing the signs and symptoms of cancer can help you and your doctor make a speedy diagnosis so that the cancer can be treated early. And that can boost the chances that the treatment will be successful.
Indications of cancer include such things as unexplained weight loss, fever and night sweats, extreme fatigue, and unexplained bleeding. None of these signs should cause immediate concern they dont always mean you have cancer. Some of them can be caused by entirely unrelated ailments. But the more you know, and the sooner you see your doctor, the more likely you and your doctor can spot cancer indications and start treatment.
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What Tests Are Used To Diagnose Cancer
If you turn up with positive results on a screening test, dont panic! For some cancers, doctors have good diagnostic tools that can go beyond screening and tell you whether you do or do not have cancer.
Imaging is one common tool used to confirm suspicious findings during cancer screening, including CT scans, X-rays, MRIs, and mammograms, among others. Another is whats known as endoscopy, in which doctors insert a tube into the body to take a careful look around and see if they can spot any tumors. And a third tool is the biopsy, in which doctors take a small sample of your tissue to look for cancer. Some of the tests are more accurate than others, but all of them can help make a diagnosis.
Robin Roberts Revealed That Her Longtime Partner Amber Laign Got Surgery And Will Now Begin Chemotherapy To Treat Breast Cancer Thankfully The Prognosis Is Good Robin Said
Nearly 15 years after Robin Roberts beat breast cancer, her longtime partner Amber Laign is now facing the same disease. On Feb. 24, the Good Morning America anchor revealed Ambers cancer diagnosis in a video message she posted to Instagram. My sweet Amber wanted me to tell you something that shes been facing. At the end of last year, Amber was diagnosed with breast cancer, Robin explained. She had surgery last month, and this morning will begin chemotherapy.
Thankfully, Robin added, the prognosis is good. The newscaster said she and Amber are so grateful to their family and friends who kept Ambers cancer diagnosis private, until the couple was ready to announce it publicly. She and I have been together almost 17 years and have helped each other through our challenges, like my journey with cancer, Robin continued. Its my turn now, to be there for her as she was for me. That means that Ill be away from GMA from time to time like this morning as she starts chemo.
Robin went on, We know many, many are facing cancer and other challenges. Like my momma said, everybodys got something. Please know you are in our prayers, and hopefully were in yours too. Blessings to all. GMA co-anchor Ginger Zee, as well as stars like Jennifer Garner and India Arie, sent their best wishes to Robin and Amber via kind messages in the comments section.
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Roberts Is Now Supporting Her Partner Through A Breast Cancer Diagnosis
In Feb. 2022, Robins announced that fans can expect her to periodically step away from Good Morning America while she supports her partner, Amber Laign, through her own breast cancer treatment. “My sweet Amber wanted me to tell you something that she’s been facing. At the end of last year, Amber was diagnosed with breast cancer,” the TV host said in a video posted to Twitter. “She had surgery last month and this morning will begin chemotherapy,” she added.
Partnered for nearly two decades, Laign was a pillar of support when Roberts was the one in need. “She and I have been together almost 17 years, and have helped each other through our challenges like my journey with cancer. It’s my turn now to be there for her like she was for me,” Roberts continued. “And that means I’ll be away from GMA from time to time, like this morning as she starts chemo.”
She concluded her message by sending her well-wishes to viewers who may also be contending with serious health concerns. “We know many, many are facing cancer and other challenges. Like my mama said, ‘Everybody’s got something.’ Please know that you are in our prayers, and hopefully we’re in yours, too,” Roberts said.
The Truth About Good Morning America Host Robin Roberts’ Cancer Diagnosis
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When ABC’s longtime “Good Morning America“ anchor Robin Roberts announced she had breast cancer in 2007, viewers rallied around the Emmy Award-winning journalist as she embarked on a journey of treatment and recovery. Five years later, Roberts was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome , a rare bone marrow cancer, according to BlackDoctor.org.
Roberts told ForbesWomen’s Moira Forbes in a conference appearance that her second diagnosis came on what would have been one of the highlights of her career. On April 19, 2012, ABC’s “Good Morning America” achieved the No. 1 spot in morning news. “Later that day, on April 19, the same day that we’re No. 1, I was told I had one to two years to live,” Roberts revealed. She later added, “You can focus on the fight or the fright. I chose to focus on the fight and not the fright.”
A report in The Washington Post explained that MDS is a condition in which the bone marrow doesn’t produce enough healthy blood cells for the body to function. Doctors believed Roberts developed the life-threatening disease as a result of her treatments for breast cancer five years earlier.
Her sister, Sally-Ann Roberts, proved to be a perfect match as a bone marrow donor and didn’t hesitate to undergo the surgery needed for treatment. “I want to be here to celebrate Robin’s 90th birthday because that will make me 98,” she said .
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Early Breast Cancer Detection And New Treatments Are Extending The Long
When television journalist Cokie Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, she had reason to be optimistic.
The 15-year survival rate for breast cancer patients was about 70%, meaning the odds were with her, then 58, living well into her 70s.
Cokie died at age 75 of complications from breast cancer, ABC News announced Tuesday.
The 15-year survival rate for breast cancer patients is now 80%, according to data published by the American Cancer Society.
Much of that improvement is due to early detection, for which Cokie advocated for years before her diagnosis. Cokie herself was optimistic at the time of her diagnosis, telling The Washington Post that her doctor had detected a suspicious lump and that a mammogram showed a small tumor. She underwent a lumpectomy and expected a clean bill of health after six months of scheduled chemotherapy.
On Chemo Brain And Dropped Words
As anyone who has undergone cancer treatment can tell you, the therapy can often be tough to endure, and can sometimes cause dangerous side effects. Treating those symptoms can improve the lives of patients while they and their doctors are trying to get rid of their cancer. Such treatment is referred to as palliative care, or supportive care. The treatments include medication, emotional support, relaxation techniques, nutritional support, and more. This kind of care can be important for children, too, as well as adults.
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Things That Happen To Your Bodyand Your Risk For Lung Cancerwhen You Stop Smoking
Cancer is not one disease, but many. Each requires its own special care and its particular treatment strategy. But one thing about cancer is easy to understand: you are far better off not getting it in the first place.
How do you do that? By avoiding the risks. Doctors understand a good deal about what can cause cancer, and you should stay far away from those causes. First among them is smoking. It is a primary cause of lung cancer and of more than a dozen other cancers. And there are other causes: unhealthy diets, obesity, lack of exercise, excess alcohol, and sun exposure among others. Know and avoid the risk factors, and you can help prevent cancer.
Celebrities Who Battled Breast Cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and contrary to popular conception, both women and men can be at risk of being diagnosed with the disease.
Wanda Sykes, Peter Criss, Christina Applegate and plenty other celebrities have opened up about living with breast cancer, and many of whom have survived the experience and gone on to use their influence to bring awareness to the matter.
Scroll down to read more about how these stars and others experienced breast cancer below.
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Mammograms Are Good But Not Perfect
While mammograms are good, they are not perfect. Since Amy elected to have bilateral mastectomies, all the breast tissue could be examined under the microscope. A second breast cancer was found in the removed breast tissue. This tumor was not seen on mammography, ultrasound or MRI. It is situations like these that make the practice of medicine humbling. It is an art rather than pure science, and there are many exceptions to every good rule.
Good medical care is teamwork between patients and doctors. I am a fan of guidelines based on sound science, but realize this is not enough. Listening to and examining a patient provides more information than any test can. Additionally, the combination of a focused medical history and directed physical examination are required to frame the results of every test result.
On the other hand, recommendations that limit the options a doctor can provide for their patients should be condemned, especially when the conclusions are not supported by the data. In this case, I am specifically referring to the government panels recommendation that screening mammography should begin at age 50. The recommendation is not supported my the data. Another problem with this recommendation, is that the next step will be denial of mammography services by insurance companies, and unless you can afford to pay for you own mammograms, the result will be delayed breast cancer diagnosis, and an increase in breast cancer deaths.
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When she learned of her diagnosis at age 58, the ABC News journalist wasted little time before coming out publicly about her illness to Lloyd Grove at the Washington Post. Her message to other women was clear: I am very religious about annual mammograms and annual visits to the gynecologist, and I was furious during the period when people were being told that under age 50, they did not need to have mammograms. Roberts said she had her first mammogram at age 49, nine years before her diagnosis. They do save lives, she emphasized in the Post interview.
Before her diagnosis Roberts was, as Grove wrote, a longtime breast cancer cause celeb who for years has urged women to get regular mammograms. In a statement made about the time of her diagnosis, Roberts said: Fortunately, in the course of my efforts to inform others about the disease, I learned about the benefits of early detection. Now I am the beneficiary of that information. She quickly became a missionary for breast cancer awareness.
In July of 2002, Roberts underwent a lumpectomy, reporting that the cancer had been caught early and she expected to get a clean bill of health after six months of chemotherapy. She said she still planned to cover the midterm elections that fall, even though shed be in the middle of treatment.
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Robin Roberts To Have Breast Cancer Surgery
ABC Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be undergoing surgery Friday.
Roberts, 46, told viewers about her cancer on Tuesday mornings show.
I am so blessed that I found this in the early stages and the prognosis is so promising that my doctor expects me to be flying planes and hanging on to submarines in the middle of the Atlantic and scaling the Mayan pyramids in no time, she said.
Roberts, who is co-anchor of Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer, said she examined herself and found a lump on her breast the same day she had done a report on former GMA movie critic Joel Siegel, who died of colon cancer last month. The network wouldnt say which breast was affected.
Shes been a contributor to ABCs morning program since 1995 and was the newsreader before being named in May 2005 as one of the shows anchors.
Former ABC news anchor Peter Jennings announced on World News Tonight in April 2005 that he had lung cancer. He never appeared on the air again and died four months later.
Survivorship Movement Helps People Learn To Live Well With Cancer
Roberts courage and outspokenness inspired me, and many others. In a report for Nightline, Roberts interviewed a young TV writer, Jessica Queller, who had just learned she was at high risk of developing breast cancer. On air, Roberts explained: And after you got that news, we should say here, I was one of the people you contacted, because you are a very good friend of my daughter-in-law. You were in my sons wedding, and you knew that I had had breast cancer. Queller said it was Roberts warmth that made it possible for her to talk about something so intimate, so painful. At the time, I dont remember feeling very brave, but I remember Cokie continually telling me that I was very brave, Queller said.
In the years since I was first diagnosed with cancer, Ive learned you need to be brave to recognize bravery.
In a remembrance, NPRs Nina Totenberg, another of the networks mothers, said that Roberts cancer recurred in 2016. For the past three years, as battled the return of a cancer vanquished some 14 years earlier, she carried on, always with that infectious laugh, Totenberg reported after her death this week. She gave speeches, appeared on TV and radio, and even called me a few days ago from the hospital to get a fill on my reporting about the new NPR president. Indeed, she was planning to go to Houston for the debates last week, until her disease finally trumped her grit.
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‘it’s My Turn Now To Be There For Her’: Cancer Survivor Robin Roberts Reveals Her Partner Of 17 Years Amber Laign Has Breast Cancer And Is Undergoing Chemo
- Robin, 61, announced on Thursday that she’ll have to step away from the show ‘from time to time,’ so she could be by Amber’s side as she undergoes treatment
- The Good Morning America anchor said that Amber – who was diagnosed with the illness at the end of last year – has started chemo and has a ‘good’ prognosis
- The talk show host beat breast cancer in 2007, and five years later, she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome
- MDS is a disease in which the bone marrow does not make enough blood cells and can occur in response to cancer treatments or chemical exposure
- She had a bone marrow transplant from her sister Sally-Ann in September 2012, before returning to Good Morning America that February
- Robin said Amber helped her get through her own journey with cancer, adding, ‘It’s my turn now to be there for her as she was for me’