Martina Navratilova, a tennis legend, has been diagnosed with Stage 1 throat cancer. Initial tests revealed another diagnosis as well. Navratilova has early-stage breast cancer that is unrelated to the non-invasive breast cancer she was diagnosed with in 2010.
Navratilova expressed optimism in a statement as she begins treatment. Later this month, the 18-time grand slam champion will begin treatment.
“This double whammy is serious but fixable, and I’m hoping for a positive outcome,” Navratilova said, according to Tennis.com. “It’ll stink for a while, but I’ll fight with everything I’ve got.”
Navratilova is reportedly battling type HPV throat cancer. During the WTA Finals in November, she noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck.
A biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. There is a good chance that the cancer will respond well to treatment.
Navratilova was declared cancer-free after six months of treatment for her first bout with breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation treatment.
Navratilova described her cancer treatment and how she overcame her diagnosis in a Novartis video posted to her Twitter account in 2017.
“You learn to be positive as a top-level athlete, as a pro athlete,” Navratilova said in the video. “As a patient, that came in handy. Being a positive person and surrounding yourself with positive people also helped a lot.”
On the tennis court, Navratilova is well-known. She won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, including the US Open in 1983, which she won against Chris Evert. The victory boosted her chances of completing a Career Grand Slam. She was the seventh woman to reach the milestone at the time.
Navratilova now works as a studio analyst for the Tennis Channel in her retirement. She won’t be covering the Australian Open, but she hopes to contribute remotely throughout her fight.