Tennis legend Martina Navratilova announced Monday that she was diagnosed with throat cancer, alongside another road of breast cancer, which she was initially diagnosed with 12 years ago.
“This double whammy is serious but still fixable,” the 66-year-old tennis player said in a statement issued on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) site. “I’m hoping for a favorable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while, but I’ll fight with all have I got.”
Per CNN, Navratilova’s agent Mary Greenham shared that the tennis player noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck during the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, which took place from October 31 to November 7. Following a biopsy, doctors discovered stage one throat cancer. While running ongoing tests for her throat cancer, she went on to notice an uncommon bump on her chest, to which she was also diagnosed with breast cancer. However, Greenham was pleased to share that both cancers were detected in early stages and have a high mortality rate.
Navratilova is a significant figure in the tennis world and is largely known for her passion and dedication to the sport. Over the course of her career, she’s taken home 59 Grand Slam titles — in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. And, even through these incredible wins, she has battled cancer before.
In 2010, she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 53. Allowing herself only 15 minutes of tears, she saddled up and prepared for her fight. “OK, what do we do? What’s the next step?” the athlete asked doctors during her first diagnosis.
Martina Navratilova’s tennis skills will ‘serve her well’ in her battle with cancer
Navratilova retired from the WTA in 1994, only to return to playing doubles in 2000. These days, she is typically seen behind the scenes as an analytical commentator. Prior to her diagnosis, she was even set to commentate on Tennis Channel’s coverage of the upcoming Australian Open.
After discovering the news, Pam Shriver, a close friend of Navratilova, said the 66-year-old’s strong will, will help her fight (and win) this battle. “You look at your skills as an athlete, to compete and in her case to compete and be the best while leaving no stone unturned — as far as finding things out, researching and understanding how to put together the best team,” she explained. “She was one of the first in tennis to have a team. Some of those traits will serve her well once again.”
The tennis legend is set to begin treatment this week, primarily in New York City.
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