Tennis great Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with both stage one throat and breast cancer, her agent told CNN in an email Monday.
“This double whammy is serious but still fixable,” the 66-year-old said in a statement on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) website. “I’m hoping for a favorable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while, but I’ll fight with all have I got.”
Navratilova, who won 59 grand slam titles in her career, has already battled breast cancer in 2010.
The latest prognosis is said to be good, according to the statement, and she will begin treatment this month.
Navratilova’s agent, Mary Greenham, said the tennis legend discovered an enlarged lymph node in her neck during the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, which was held from October 31 to November 7.
A biopsy was done, and she was later diagnosed with stage one throat cancer, her agent said. When Navratilova was undergoing throat tests, her agent said a suspicious form was found in her breast, which later was diagnosed as cancer.
Greenham said both cancers were in the early stages with great outcomes.
Navratilova enjoyed a long playing career in which she won 18 grand slam singles titles, 31 grand slam doubles titles and 10 grand slam mixed doubles titles. She still holds the WTA Tour’s all-time record of 167 titles.
After retiring from singles in 1994 at the age of 38, she continued playing doubles — and winning titles — into her 40s.
She has remained involved in the sport as a coach, broadcaster, and ambassador for the WTA Tour, highlighting the importance of preventive checkups to combat specific diseases such as breast cancer.
Navratilova was due to cover the upcoming Australian Open from the Tennis Channel studio but instead hopes to join occasionally by Zoom, Greenham added.