Billie Jean King 'so happy' for Martina Navratilova as the tennis pro says she's 'cancer-free' after throat and breast cancer diagnosis

Martina Navratilova is 'cancer free' after simultaneous treatment for two forms of cancer as she admits she didn't think she'd see Christmas

 Martina Navratilova before presenting the winner's trophy to Iga Swiatek of Poland at the presentation ceremony after the Women's Singles Final match on Arthur Ashe Stadium during the US Open Tennis Championship 2022 at the USTA National Tennis Centre on September 10th 2022 in Flushing, Queens, New York City.
(Image credit: Tim Clayton/Corbis/Getty Images)

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova is 'cancer free' after receiving treatment for two forms of cancer at the same time. The star reveals the good news of her recovery as she admits that she wasn't sure if she was going to make it.

After receiving successful treatment for an early form of breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ, back in 2010 - Martina was only too aware of the early signs of breast cancer.

The Times reports that during an appearance on Piers Morgan Uncensored, the nine-time Wimbledon winner said, "as far as they know I’m cancer-free.” Adding that she's due to have another two weeks of preventative radiation on her breast she said, "then I should be should be good to go.”

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cambridge sharing a joke with Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova in the royal box at the Women's Singles Final at The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club at Wimbledon on July 10, 2021 in London, England.

(Image credit: Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)

On hearing the good news, her close friend and one-time competitor, Billie Jean King tweeted, "such wonderful news from my dear friend, @Martina⁦⁩. We are so happy for you!" 

This comes only months after Martina's revelation that she was being treated for the illness. The star recalled that knew something was potentially wrong just before Christmas 2022, when she noticed her left lymph node was enlarged. 

“I had a sense of foreboding when I asked the doctor, ‘What do you think the chances are?’ and he says about 50-50,” she said. “I was like, ‘I don’t like those odds.'”

Martina Navratilova of the United States stretches to make a back hand return during the Women's Singles Final match against Zina Garrison at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship on 7th July 1990 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon in London, England. Martina Navratilova won the match and championship 6–4, 6–1.

(Image credit: Bob Martin/Allsport/Getty Images)

Following her visit to the doctor, she admitted that she was incredibly anxious and had, “three horrible nights," worrying about what the prognosis would be.

“I was in a total panic for three days thinking I may not see next Christmas," she admitted, revealing that she's even written a 'bucket list' too.

The star, who's recently featured on Real Housewives of Miami alongside her model wife Julia Lemigova, initially learned that she had throat cancer caused by the HPV16 virus. Much to her relief, the star said this form of cancer is, "extremely treatable and 95% full recovery."

Martina's cancer was treated with a course of chemotherapy and a trial proton therapy. During this time, she also had a 7-8mm tumor removed from her right breast.

Russian businesswoman Julia Lemigova (L) and her wife US-Czechoslovak former professional tennis player Martina Navratilova (R) arrive for the Netflix premiere of "The Politician" at the DGA theatre in New York City on September 26, 2019.

(Image credit: Angela Weiss / AFP/ Getty Images)

At the time of Martina's diagnosis, she and Julia were in the process of trying to adopt a child. Their decision came after Julia's two daughters left their Miami home to study - which really hit Julia hard. 

While appearing on the Real Housewives of Miami reunion show, Julia discussed her wife's illness and their baby plans. She told Bravo boss Andy Cohen, "When you're adopting a child, it has to be about the child. And right now it's everything about Martina and for her getting healthy. We're putting it on hold."

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Julia Lemigova, Martina Navratilova and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in the Royal Box on Centre Court during day twelve of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 13, 2019 in London, England.

(Image credit: Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

Echoing this sentiment, Martina admitted to Piers that the whole experience of these past few months really changed her view on the idea, which she says, "was a nice thought for a while."

“I’m not really the youngest anymore and I don’t want to be the grandmother on the playground," she said, adding, “I don’t think it’s going to happen. I think it’s just too complicated and the energy - I only have so much right now.”

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.