People Magazine reports today that 53 year-old Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with a non-invasive form of breast cancer.
“I cried,” Navratilova, 53, tells PEOPLE about the moment in February when a biopsy came back positive after a routine mammogram revealed a cluster in her left breast. “It knocked me on my ass, really. I feel so in control of my life and my body, and then this comes, and it’s completely out of my hands.”
Martina heard the bad news on February 24. She says she had her lumpectomy on the Monday following the Hit for Haiti charity match on Friday, March 12 in Indian Wells. Martina certainly looked in control of her game – and the crowd – at the event, entertaining with volleys of all kinds.
Navratilova’s doctor and friend, Dr. Mindy Nagle, told PEOPLE that this was the “best-case scenario you could imagine for detecting breast cancer.” A breast surgeon familiar with DCIS, the form of cancer Navratilova has, says the prognosis is very good: ” There’s only a one-percent chance of anyone with this diagnosis would die of breast cancer.”
Martina will undergo six weeks of radiation therapy in May. In a great interview with Good Morning America today (click here to watch it), she says she plans to undergo radiation treatments in Paris while she commentates for Tennis Channel at Roland Garros.
Despite the promising outlook, Martina is warning others not to gamble with their health:
“I went four years between mammograms,” she tells PEOPLE. “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.”
A champion for health and wellness amongst the AARP set (and really, the triathalete/tennis champ/hockey player is an inspiration for anyone at any age) Martina says that her role as a fitness ambassador prompted her to go public with the news. Martina will be chatting live on the organization’s website tomorrow, Thursday, April 7 starting at 12:45. Click here and wish her a speedy recovery!