IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova is diagnosed with breast and throat cancer

The 66-year-old tennis great says she is "hoping for a favorable outcome" after being diagnosed with both stage 1 breast cancer and stage 1 throat cancer.

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova announced on Jan. 2 that she has been diagnosed with both breast and throat cancer, according to a statement published on the World Tennis Association website.

The 66-year-old Wimbledon champion said she was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer and stage 1 throat cancer after discovering an enlarged lymph node in her neck in November 2022, which prompted doctors to do further testing, according to the WTA statement.

Navratilova — who has won a total of 59 Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles, per the WTA — is maintaining her fighting spirit and staying positive as she begins her treatment.

“This double whammy is serious but still fixable,” Navratilova says in the 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 adds.

Martina Navratilova during the Women's Singles Final match at the French Open Tennis Championship on June 6, 1987 in Paris, France.
Navratilova during the Women's Singles Final match at the French Open Tennis Championship on June 6, 1987, in Paris, France.Chris Cole / Getty Images

According to the WTA, Navratilova's throat cancer is specifically due to human papillomavirus, or HPV, which is a treatable cancer. HPV is thought to cause 70% of oropharyngeal cancers in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

This isn't Navratilova's first time battling cancer. The famous Czech-American athlete opened up about her previous diagnosis with early-stage breast cancer at age 53 and urged women to get regular screenings during a 2022 interview with TODAY.

“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.

Navratilova said she was first diagnosed with breast cancer after waiting four years in between her mammograms, and underwent a lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation — she was previously cancer-free up until her most recent diagnosis.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women who are 50 to 74 years old and at average risk for breast cancer get a mammogram once every two years.

"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 said. Related video: