Tennis legend and 18-time tournament winner Martina Navratilova says she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February after doctors performed a biopsy after a cluster was found in her left breast during a routine mammogram. Though the results shocked her, the prognosis is reportedly good, as doctors were able to detect the cancer early.
The 53-year-old former tennis ace, claims the breast cancer diagnosis in February caught her off guard, she told PEOPLE. “It knocked me on my ass, really,” she said. “I feel so in control of my life and my body, and then this comes, and it’s completely out of my hands.”
Upon finding out the news, Martina said on ‘Good Morning America’: “I found out February 24 – that was my personal 9/11.”
Martina was diagnosed with a non-invasive form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which is confined to her milk ducts. Martina has undergone a lumpectomy to remove the cluster, and will begin a six-week radiation course in May, the BBC reports.
The fact that the cancer was detected in its early stages, Martina says, was lucky, as she was becoming slack with her regular check ups.
“I went four years between mammograms,” the Telegraph.co.uk quotes her as saying. “I let it slide. Everyone gets busy, but don’t make excuses.
“I stay in shape and eat right, and it happened to me. Another year and I could have been in big trouble.”
At first Martina considered keeping the matter private, but decided to speak out in order to encourage other women to go for regular mammograms.
Other celebrities who have been diagnosed with breast cancer include Betty Ford, Cynthia Nixon, Kylie Minogue, Sheryl Crow, Anastacia, Melissa Etheridge, Ingrid Bergman, Olivia Newton-John and Christina Applegate.
Images: PR PhotosTags: breast cancer cancer