June 11, 2012 / 3:33 PM / in 6 years

Robin Roberts of TV's "Good Morning America" battling blood disorder

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Robin Roberts, an anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program who beat breast cancer five years ago, said on Monday she has myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder triggered by her cancer treatment.

Robin Roberts (C) gives a thumbs up as she discusses her medical condition with Diane Sawyer (L) and Sally Ann Roberts on ABC's "Good Morning America" program in this handout photo released June 11, 2012. REUTERS/Ida Mae Astute/ABC/Handout

Roberts, 51, who expects to undergo a bone marrow transplant this fall with her sister as a donor, learned of the diagnosis on the same day that GMA beat NBC’s “Today” show in viewer ratings for the first time in 16 years, she said in a statement on the network’s website.

“Talk about your highs and lows!” Roberts said.

“My doctors tell me I’m going to beat this - and I know it’s true,” she said in the statement.

The network’s medical correspondent, Dr Richard Besser, said in a statement on the website that he was consulting with Roberts about MDS, a rare malignant disorder of the bone marrow that typically affects elderly people and can sometimes be the result of cancer treatment.

He said her treatment would begin on Monday, when she receives a drug to prepare her for the bone marrow transplant. She will continue hosting the morning television show but is expected to stay off the air for several months after the transplant to recover.

Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Eric Beech

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