Former tennis world number one Martina Navratilova is suffering from separate cancers in her throat and breast, it was revealed on Monday.
Navratilova 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, who was born in Prague in the then Czechoslovakia, started playing tennis regularly at the age of seven. She won her first professional singles title in Orlando, Florida in 1974 at the age of 17.
She went on to claim 59 Grand Slam singles and doubles titles. The last came at the 2006 US Open where she won the mixed doubles crown with the American Bob Bryan.
The 66-year-old noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck while she was at the WTA finals in Fort Worth in the United States in November.
When it persisted, she underwent tests which returned with results that she had stage one throat cancer.
Further examinations found she also had a problem in her breast which was unrelated to her throat.
“The prognosis is good and Martina will start her treatment this month," said a statement from her representatives.
“The cancer type is HPV and this particular type responds really well to treatment," the statement added.
“Both these cancers are in their early stages with great outcomes."
Navratilova, who had been scheduled to travel to Melbourne to comment on the Australian Open for Tennis Channel, will remain in the US to begin her treatment.
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