Metro Weekly

Lesbian Tennis Star Martina Navratilova Diagnosed with 2 Forms of Cancer

Tennis legend was diagnosed with throat and breast cancer following a biopsy of a swollen lymph node in her neck.

Martina Navratilova – Photo: World Travel & Tourism Council.

Martina Navratilova, an out lesbian and one of the top female tennis players of all time, has been diagnosed with throat and breast cancer.

Navratilova, 66, told the UK-based newspaper The Times that she discovered an enlarged lymph node in her neck back in early November, during the World Tennis Association Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, where she was carrying out her duties as an ambassador for the WTA Tour. 

Following a biopsy of the lump in her neck, Navratilova was diagnosed with stage one throat cancer, Navratilova’s agent, Mary Greenham, told CNN. While undergoing throat tests, doctors also found a suspicious form in her breast, which was later diagnosed as cancer.

This diagnosis comes 13 years after Navratilova was first diagnosed with breast cancer following a routine mammogram. She underwent surgery to have the tumor surgically removed, and received radiation therapy afterward.

Navratilova expressed optimism about her health status going forward, noting that both cancers are still in the early stages, which typically translates to more positive outcomes for patients if the cancer is caught and treated before it has a chance to spread.

“This double whammy is serious but still fixable,” she told The Times. “I’m hoping for a favorable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while but I’ll fight with all I have got.”

A spokesman for Navratilova told The Times that Navratilova is expected to begin treatment for both cancers later this month. She was previously scheduled to cover the Australian Open from the Tennis Channel studio, but hopes to join occasionally by Zoom, her agent added.

Navratilova enjoyed a long playing career, during which she won 18 grand slam singles titles, 31 grand slam doubles titles, and 10 grand slam mixed doubles titles. She still holds the WTA Tour’s all-time record of 167 titles. Following her retirement, she has remained involved in the sport as a WTA Tour ambassador, coach, and broadcaster. She has also been an advocate of preventive checkups to combat diseases like breast cancer, stemming from her 2010 bout with the disease.

In recent years, Navratilova has been outspoken about her opposition to transgender participation in women’s sports. In 2021, after U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order intended to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, she asked for an exemption for elite women’s sports, saying she supports allowing transgender athletes to participate, but not against women due to the physiological advantages that trans women who have gone through male puberty enjoy over cisgender women. 

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