TUESDAY, Feb. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Tom Brokaw, one of the most respected journalists in television news, is battling a type of cancer that attacks white blood cells in bone marrow, NBC News announced Tuesday evening.
The long-time anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” the 74-year-old Brokaw has been working as a special correspondent contributing to the network’s coverage of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
First diagnosed last summer at the Mayo Clinic, Brokaw’s doctors feel he has made good progress against the cancer, known as multiple myeloma, the network said.
Although there is no cure for the disease, which typically strikes people 60 and older, there are several treatment options, according to the Mayo Clinic. The treatments can include chemotherapy and other anti-cancer drugs, corticosteroids, stem cell transplantation and radiation. Bone pain and fatigue are common symptoms of the disease.
Treatments can often help patients return to near-normal activity, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In a personal statement released by NBC News, 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 come. I remain the luckiest guy I know. I am very grateful for the interest in my condition, but I also hope everyone understands I wish to keep this a private matter.”
Brokaw’s career with NBC News began in 1966, when he worked in the network’s Los Angeles bureau. After a tenure as White House correspondent during the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, he was named anchor of “NBC Nightly News” in 1983. Brian Williams succeeded him as anchor in 2004.
The author of several books, perhaps his most famous is “The Greatest Generation,” in which he examined the struggles and strengths of the generation of Americans who came of age during the Great Depression and World War II.
To learn more about multiple myeloma, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.