Cokie Roberts has breast cancer. The ABC pundit, soon to step down from her Sunday morning post at ''This Week,'' says she isn't curtailing her duties

By Gary Susman
Updated August 06, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Cokie Roberts had long announced her intention to step down from ABC’s Sunday morning pundit show ”This Week” when George Stephanopolous moves into the anchor chair in September. So her diagnosis of breast cancer, which she revealed on Tuesday, isn’t a factor in her departure. The 58-year-old correspondent tells the Washington Post that she underwent a successful lumpectomy two weeks ago and that doctors believe they caught the cancer early enough for her to make a full recovery after six months of chemotherapy.

Despite her chemo treatments, which start this week, Roberts says she’s not planning to cut back on her hosting duties or on her coverage of midterm elections for ABC News. The treatments should not ”cause any major interference with my work,” she tells the Post. ”The doctors tell me there are different effects for different people, and that I am likely to to feel crummy for a day or so after every treatment…. This is pretty standard.”

Long an advocate of annual mammograms, even for women under 50, Roberts says her doctors detected the tumor in June and confirmed it with a mammogram. She lost a sister, Barbara, to another form of cancer in 1990, and her father, House Majority Leader Hale Boggs (D-La.), died in a plane crash in 1972. ”So I didn’t need any extra perspective on life,” she says.