Martina Navratilova said Monday she’s been diagnosed with throat cancer and breast cancer, but the tennis legend has a good prognosis and will start treatment this month.
“This double whammy is serious but still fixable, and I’m hoping for a favorable outcome,” the 66-year-old Tennis Hall of Famer said in a statement to the press. “It’s going to stink for a while but I’ll fight with all I have got.”
The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion said she noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck in November while attending the WTA finals in Fort Worth, Texas. A biopsy revealed early-stage throat cancer, and her tests also indicated an unrelated breast cancer. She underwent a lumpectomy in 2010 for a non-invasive form of breast cancer.
Navratilova was one of the most dominant and durable athletes in all of sports, and is considered among the greatest tennis players of all time. She holds 59 Grand Slam tennis titles in all, including a mixed-doubles championship she won in 2006 at age 50.
Originally from Czechoslovakia, Navratilova sought political asylum in the United States in 1975 at age 18. She became a U.S. citizen in 1981 and has been an in-demand tennis commentator since retiring from the sport.