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On January 2nd, 2023, legendary tennis champion and LGBTQ+ icon Martina Navratilova announced she had been diagnosed with stage 1 throat cancer and breast cancer. As we send our thoughts and prayers to Navratilova, let’s take a look at the life of this remarkable woman who has never shied away from using her platform to fight for what she believes in.   

Navratilova’s Cancer Diagnosis 

At 66 years old, Martina Navratilova continues to be an inspiration to countless people around the world with her latest announcement about her diagnosis of throat cancer and breast cancer, both caught early.

She originally announced her cancer diagnosis on her website, where she explained that she plans to begin treatment this month for her cancer, which was discovered after a biopsy on an enlarged lymph node in her neck. She first noticed that she had a larger node at the WTA Finals in Texas last fall. “The prognosis is good,” Navratilova said in the statement, adding: “The cancer type is HPV and this particular type responds really well to treatment.” Thankfully, both of these cancers are in their early stages with great outcomes. 

This is not the first time Navratilova has faced a cancer diagnosis. In 2010, she was diagnosed with noninvasive breast cancer and underwent six weeks of radiation treatment. This new announcement has only served to make her stronger, as she is determined to use this experience to help others.

Although it could be difficult news to deal with emotionally, it appears that through sheer grit alone, Navratilova is determined not only to beat cancer but also to continue advocating for equality, among other things, close to her heart while doing it!  

Navratilova’s Professional Career 

Martina Navratilova is widely considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. She won a combined total of 59 major titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles throughout her career.

Navratilova was known for her incredible athleticism on the court—she was nicknamed “Navrat the Brat” because of her aggressive playing style. She was also known for her commitment to fair play and sportsmanship, refusing to accept prize money from tournaments she felt were not run according to the highest ethical standards.

Navratilova’s Advocacy Work 

Throughout her illustrious career, Navratilova remained an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights long before it became fashionable to do so. In 1991, after coming out publicly as gay four years prior, she fought against Amendment 2 in Colorado – a measure that would have denied protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation. She spoke at the 1993 gay march in Washington DC, and remains an active voice in support of human rights around the world today.


Martina Navratilova is not only a sports legend but also a tireless advocate for social justice and human rights causes everywhere. We wish Navratilova all the best as she battles stage 1 throat cancer and breast cancer with bravery and grace – traits that have characterized everything she has done throughout her life, both on and off the court!

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