Czech tennis legend announces she has beaten breast and throat cancer

Martina Navrátilová, the country's most successful tennis player, was diagnosed about four months ago. She previously had breast cancer in 2010. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 21.03.2023 11:05:00 (updated on 21.03.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

Czech tennis legend Martina Navrátilová has announced that she has been cured after having been diagnosed with both throat and breast cancer.

Both cancers were detected early

The 66-year-old publicly announced in early January this year that she was diagnosed with cancer. Both the throat and breast cancer were stage one, a phase during which the tumors are relatively small, yet still malignant. 

Doctors discovered abnormal growth after a lymph node in her neck swelled in November after an exhibition tennis tournament.

The tennis great was successfully treated for breast cancer in 2010.


  • The average woman in the U.S. has a 1 in 8 chance of getting breast cancer. The five-year survival rate for a stage-one diagnosis is around 98 percent. 
  • Laryngeal (throat) cancer is substantially rarer for women; the lifetime risk of developing it is about 1 in 830. The five-year survival rate for a diagnosis during the cancer’s first stage is around 90 percent.

"I will still have to go for radiation on my right breast, but it will only be for a few weeks and more than anything else, it will be [for] prevention," Navrátilová said in an interview for TalkTV.

A tennis record holder

Navrátilová is the most-decorated Czech tennis player of all time. During her career – spanning over three decades – she won a total of 59 Grand Slam titles, including 18 in singles (nine at Wimbledon, four at the U.S. Open, three at the Australia Open, and two at France's Roland Garros), 31 in doubles, and 10 in mixed doubles.

Better safe than sorry: check out our article about preventative cancer screenings in Czechia.

Originally from Czechoslovakia, Navrátilová lost her citizenship when, aged 18, she requested political asylum in the U.S. and was given temporary residency. She regained Czech citizenship in 2008 and is now a dual citizen. She is an active advocate for gay rights and animal welfare, and is presently a tennis commentator. 

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