Robin Roberts' Health Issues Explained

Today, Robin Roberts is the picture of health and happiness, but there was a time when the "Good Morning America" anchor wasn't sure how much time she had left to live. 

In June 2007, Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer and shared details about her diagnosis — as well as treatment — with viewers. "At first I thought, 'This can't be. I am a young, healthy woman.' Nevertheless, I faced my fear head on and made an appointment to see the doctor," Roberts wrote at the time (via WebMD). "Much as I was hoping the doctor would say it was nothing, she did a biopsy and confirmed that the lump I'd found was indeed an early form of breast cancer."


Luckily, the cancer was caught early, and Roberts underwent a lumpectomy and a partial mastectomy. "I was very fortunate, because had [my surgeon] not taken a little bit more than you would with a lumpectomy, I would have had to go back and have additional surgeries," she told Prevention. "Because they found that the tumor was more aggressive than they first anticipated."

After radiation and chemotherapy, Roberts went through what she called "post-chemo depression" but was able to come out of it with the help of a therapist. Unfortunately, Roberts faced another health battle a few years later.

Robin Roberts' sister saved her life

In 2012, Robin Roberts was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood and bone-marrow disease, which was likely caused by her past chemotherapy treatments (via MedicineNet). "My doctor told me I had a year or two to live if I didn't have a successful transplant," she told Rachael Ray (via People). "My other siblings were not a match. My doctors had already told me there was not anybody on the list that matched me. It came down to my sister Sally-Ann." Luckily, her sister was willing to step up, do her part, and save Roberts' life.


Now, Roberts is celebrating the ninth anniversary of getting a new lease on life. She has also used her health struggles to help others, encouraging people to get screened for breast cancer and become bone marrow donors. "That's why I'm so grateful that my mom encouraged me to make my mess my message," she told Cure Today. "If somebody had said to me years ago, 'You're going to have cancer, you're going to go through it twice, and you're going to be told you have a year or two to live,' I wouldn't have expected to have the strength to deal with that." 

She added: "It's funny how a lot of people say to someone going through this, 'You're so brave,' because the last thing you feel is brave. But then you realize that — you know what? — we all are just a little bit stronger than we think we are."