Tennis Great Martina Navratilova Diagnosed With Two Cancers

The 59 Grand Slam title winner has been diagnosed with early-stage breast and throat cancer.

Key takeaways:
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    Tennis great Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with early-stage breast and throat cancer.
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    Navratilova's representative says her prognosis is good, and she will begin treatment soon.
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    Navratilova was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and beat it.
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    “Second cancer” is a new diagnosis that has nothing to do with the first cancer.

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with stage 1 throat and breast cancer. The Czech-American is thought to be one of the best tennis players of all time. Between singles, doubles, and mixed tournaments, she has won 59 Grand Slam titles.

“This double whammy is serious but still fixable,” said the 66-year-old in a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) statement.

In November, an enlarged lymph node was found in Navratilova’s neck during the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas. The finding led to the discovery that the now-retired athlete had stage 1 throat cancer and, later, stage 1 breast cancer. The cancer was caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which her representative said, "prognosis is good.”

Navratilova is set to begin treatment next week in New York City. While in treatment, she will not be working the upcoming Australian Open for Tennis Channel as usual.

“She hopes to arrange some Zoom appearances in the near future,” said her representative.

This is not Navratilova’s first time with cancer. She won a battle against non-invasive breast cancer in 2010. Her treatment involved a lumpectomy and radiation. After her first cancer went into remission, she became a strong supporter of regular screenings and health care for women.

More and more people are living with and beating cancer as early detection and treatment improve. However, anyone who has had cancer and beat it knows it is possible to get another cancer, called second cancer.

A second cancer is a cancer diagnosis that has nothing to do with the first. People with certain types of cancer, who have had certain types of cancer treatment, or who have a family history of cancer are more at risk of getting “second cancer.” Survivors of childhood cancers may also be at higher risk for second cancers. Because the risk of cancer increases with age, a cancer survivor may get new cancer unrelated to the first.

Navratilova’s reps say the tennis icon is in positive spirits following her diagnosis.

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

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