Tennis great Martina Navratilova said Monday that she has been diagnosed with throat cancer and breast cancer.
In a statement released by her representative, the 18-time Grand Slam singles champion and member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame said her prognosis is good and she will start treatment this month.
“This double whammy is serious but still fixable, and I’m hoping for a favourable outcome,” the 66-year-old Navratilova said. “It’s going to stink for a while but I’ll fight with all have I got.”
She said she noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck while attending the season-ending WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, in November, and a biopsy showed early-stage throat cancer. While Navratilova was undergoing tests on her throat, she said, the unrelated, early-stage breast cancer was discovered.
Floods of messages of support poured in on social media when the news broke – including from former another World No.1 American Bille Jean-King.
“Needless to say my phone and Twitter are both blowing up so I will say again – thank you all for your support and I am not done yet,” she tweeted Monday.
Navratilova was diagnosed with a noninvasive form of breast cancer in 2010 and had a lumpectomy.
She won 59 Grand Slam titles overall, including 31 in women’s doubles and 10 in mixed doubles. The last was a mixed doubles championship with Bob Bryan at the 2006 U.S. Open, a month shy of her 50th birthday.