Tennis pro Martina Navratilova has cancer - early signs of cancerous tumours

Upon sharing the news on Monday, January 2, 2023, the 18-time Grand Slam singles champion remained unflappable. “The double whammy is serious, but fixable, and I’m hoping for a favourable outcome,” she said. “It’s going to stink for a while, but I’ll fight with all I have got.”

The 66-year-old noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck during November’s WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) Finals in Fort Worth, Texas.

A subsequent biopsy revealed she had stage one throat cancer; during the tests, another tumour was discovered in Martina’s breast.

Martina’s wife, Julia Lemigova, posted to Instagram on the day the news broke with the caption: “Together, we will fight this.”

Cancer Research UK says throat cancer “could be in one of two main areas”: pharynx or head and neck.

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The charity cautioned: “The symptoms of throat cancer are often similar to symptoms of other much less serious conditions.”

Potential signs of throat cancer can include:

  • Ear pain
  • A sore throat
  • A lump in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Change in your voice or speech
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • A feeling of something stuck in the throat.

Stage one throat cancer means the tumour has not spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes.


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Cancer Research states that one in two people born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.

Women have the highest lifetime risk of breast cancer, while men have the highest lifetime risk of prostate cancer.

Both sexes are at highest risk for lung and bowel cancers, which are fairly common in the UK.

As soon as you suspect something unusual is happening to you inside your body, do book a doctor’s appointment.

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