Tennis great Martina Navratilova reveals her breast cancer diagnosis
Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with breast cancer -- and she thought she was going to keep that private.
Why did the tennis superstar, whose prognosis is good, change her mind and go public Wednesday on "Good Morning America"?
The 53-year-old AARP health ambassador -- "I've been healthy all my life!" -- realized she had let her annual mammograms go by the wayside for four years.
Time to hit the small screen with a health ambassador-style reminder to other women not to "let it slide," as she had with her own scans.
"It was my personal 9/11 ... ," she said about hearing the news. "Physically, I couldn't think, I couldn't move, I was useless." The night of her diagnosis she had hockey practice, she said, and "the emotions took so much strength out of me, I could barely skate."
"The good news" with the bad news, she said, is that her early type of cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ, is non-invasive, with only a small chance of coming back.
Navratilova believes she lucked out that her cancer had appeared only in the last year. If it had started ...
New government recommendations, for which the Wimbledon and Grand Slam champ had little praise, encourage mammograms every two years in women older than 50, and at a person's discretion before that.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Photo: Martina Navratilova hit the court for a charity event at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., on March 12, 2010. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press.
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