Tennis Icon Martina Navratilova Is Diagnosed With Breast And Throat Cancer At Age 66

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova announced on January 2 that she has been diagnosed with both breast and throat cancer. The 66-year-old released a statement via the World Tennis Association, saying she received the diagnosis after discovering an enlarged lymph node in her neck in November 2022.

Both cancers are at stage 1. Despite the diagnosis, Navratilova said she’s staying positive.

“This double whammy is serious but still fixable,” the coach said in her statement.

“I’m hoping for a favorable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while, but I’ll fight with all have I got,” she added.

According to the statement, her throat cancer is caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Though common, HPV is a treatable cancer.

As for the other diagnosis, this isn’t the athlete’s first run-in with breast cancer. In an interview with Today last year, she opened up about her previous diagnosis of breast cancer at age 53.

In the interview, Navratilova urged fans and woman everywhere to get checked regularly.

"You can be the healthiest person on the planet and still get cancer. You are definitely improving the odds by being healthy, but you’re not totally eliminating the possibility," Navratilova told Today.

She revealed that her first diagnosis of breast cancer came after she waited four years between her mammograms. She underwent surgery and several weeks of radiation and was cancer-free up until her recent diagnosis.

"There are way too many women who die from breast cancer and many of them would still be alive if doctors had found it sooner," Navratilova told the outlet.

The Wimbledon champion holds the World Tennis Association Tour’s record for most titles, with 167 under her belt.

After retiring from professional competition, she continued to be involved in the tennis community. She is a coach, broadcaster, and representative for the World Tennis Association Tour.

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