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“Cancers Secondary to Chemotherapy”

Many of us were saddened with the recent news of Robin Roberts having pre-leukemia (myelodysplastic syndrome, MDS).  Robin, of ABC’s Good Morning America, was a standout basketball player at Southeastern Louisiana University and the Outstanding Alumnus in 1996; whereas, I was the SLU Outstanding Alumnus in 1988.  The question is, “Why does Robin now have, what appears to be, a secondary cancer, following her earlier treatment for breast cancer in 2007?”  Chemotherapy (chemo) is one of the mainstays in the battle against cancer, along with radiation therapy.  Chemo acts by killing rapidly dividing cells, like cancer cells, but cells in the bone marrow, digestive tract and hair follicles are also partially killed. 

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