NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw diagnosed with cancer
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[February 12, 2014] By
Eric Kelsey and Steve Gorman
ANGELES (Reuters) — Veteran
news anchor Tom Brokaw, the face of "NBC Nightly News" for more than
two decades, has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer
affecting blood cells in the bone marrow, but is hopeful about the
outcome of his treatment, the network said on Tuesday.
Brokaw, 74, stepped down as anchor in December 2004 but has
remained with the network as a special correspondent, currently
covering the Winter Olympics coverage in Sochi, and has
continued to work on NBC projects during his treatment, NBC News
said in a statement.
It said Brokaw and his physicians were "very encouraged with the
progress he is making."
In his own statement accompanying the network announcement,
Brokaw said: "With the exceptional support of my family, medical
team and friends, I am very optimistic about the future and look
forward to continuing my life, my work and adventures still to
He added, "I remain the luckiest guy I know."
A South Dakota native who joined NBC in 1966, Brokaw served as
White House correspondent during the Watergate scandal of the
Richard Nixon administration and hosted NBC's "Today" show from
1976 until 1982.
He replaced John Chancellor at the helm of the "Nightly News"
desk, first as co-anchor that year with Roger Mudd and then as
sole anchor in September 1983, while the "CBS Evening News with
Walter Cronkite" was still the top weeknight network newscast.
Within several years, however, Brokaw and "Nightly News" moved
to the top of the Nielsen ratings, leading Dan Rather and the
"CBS Evening News" and Peter Jennings' "ABC World News Tonight"
through the end of Brokaw's tenure in 2004.
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The youngest of his Big-Three network news
contemporaries, Brokaw was the first to retire as anchor, stepping
down from the job at age 64.
Despite his accomplishments as a journalist, Brokaw
has said it was a work of history that he was most proud of — his
book "The Greatest Generation," a bestseller about Americans who
grew up during the Great Depression and served in World War II.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer that strikes white blood cells in the
bone marrow called plasma cells, which normally produce antibodies
to help fight infection. But in multiple myeloma, an over-abundance
of malignant plasma cells releases unhealthy levels of a protein
into the bones and blood that in turn can cause damage to bone
tissue and organs.
There is no cure, but treatments are available that slow its
progression, according to the medical website WebMD.com.
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; writing by
Steve Gorman; editing by Dan Whitcomb, Bernard Orr and Eric Walsh)
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