Wimbledon great Martina Navratilova diagnosed with early stage throat and breast cancers

Martina Navratilova's representatives say she will start treatment this month. Credit: PA

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with throat and breast cancers. The Czech-American former world number one previously underwent treatment for early stage breast cancer in 2010. Navratilova, 66, said: “This double whammy is serious but still fixable, and I’m hoping for a favourable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while but I will fight with all I have got.” Navratilova, winner of 59 grand slam singles and doubles titles, will not travel to this month’s Australian Open, where she was intending to work as a TV pundit.

Navratilova fights back tears as she poses with her record ninth ladies singles championship trophy at Wimbledon in 1990. Credit: AP

However a statement from her representative described the prognosis of Wimbledon's greatest women's singles champion as “good”.

“Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with stage one throat cancer,” read the statement. “The prognosis is good and Martina will start her treatment this month.

“The cancer type is HPV and this particular type responds really well to treatment. Martina noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck during the WTA finals in Fort Worth.

Navratilova returns the ball to JoAnne Russell durig the 1977 Women's Professional Tennis Tournament in Detroit. Credit: AP

"When it didn’t go down, a biopsy was performed, the results came back as stage one throat cancer. “At the same time as Martina was undergoing the tests for the throat, a suspicious form was found in her breast, which was subsequently diagnosed as cancer, completely unrelated to the throat cancer. “Both these cancers are in their early stages with great outcomes. Martina won’t be covering the Australian Open for Tennis Channel from their studio but hopes to be able to join in from time to time by Zoom.”

'This double whammy is serious but still fixable, and I’m hoping for a favourable outcome', Navratilova said. Credit: PA

In a 2017 interview, the nine-time Wimbledon winner opened up about her previous cancer diagnosis, telling how "everything shifts" after receiving such life-changing news.

"You realise your life can change in a nanosecond, so that 'seize the day' thing definitely applies.

"I'm always very good at dealing with reality and getting on with it, not worrying about too many possibilities, just what is now, let's deal with it."

In the video, recorded by Swiss healthcare firm Novartis, she said: "Being a top-level pro-athlete, you learn to be positive, so that came in very handy as a patient.

"However much money you make - you can make more, you can make less - time? That's something you cannot ever have back.

"Don't feel guilty about doing that what's good for you, because if it's good for you, it will be good for the people around you."

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