Tennis great Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately it is noninvasive and her prognosis is excellent.
In a phone interview Wednesday, the nine-time Wimbledon women’s singles champion said a lump was found during a routine mammogram in January and the biopsy that followed a month later determined it was “ductal carcinoma in situ” or DCIS.
In March Martina Navratilova underwent a lumpectomy, and next month will start six weeks of radiation.
“It was such a shock for me,” Navratilova said. “It was my 9/11.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 50,000 women are diagnosed with DCIS each year. DCIS occurs when abnormal cells haven’t left the milk duct to penetrate breast tissue. Because of the risk factor for developing invasive cancer, the breast is removed. Only about 2 percent of DCIS patients died of breast cancer in the next 10 years.
In an appearance Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Navratilova told interviewer Robin Roberts, herself a breast cancer survivor, “It is just in that one breast. I’m OK and I’ll make a full recovery.”
…Navratilova said she initially wanted to keep her diagnosis quiet but decided she could help others by going public. She will do a Web chat Thursday in her role as the AARP’s Health and Fitness Ambassador, when she hopes not only to teach participants but also to learn from them.
…Navratilova said on “GMA” that she is fine physically but struggles emotionally at times, particularly when discussing her diagnosis.
“I’m this healthy person, I’ve been healthy all my life, and all of a sudden I have cancer. Are you kidding me?” she said.