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Martina Navratilova says she's cancer free

Martina Navratilova diagnosed with 2 cancers

Tennis champion Martina Navratilova says she is cancer free after revealing earlier this year she was diagnosed with both throat and breast cancer. Navratilova, 66, shared the update during an interview with Piers Morgan for his TalkTV show "Piers Morgan Uncensored."

Navratilova said after receiving the double diagnosis, she was in "total panic for three days," and thought she wouldn't see next Christmas, according to interview quotes shared with The Sun. She told Morgan she still has preventative radiation treatments to go, but said: "As far as they know I'm cancer free."

In clips shared by "Piers Morgan Uncensored," Navratilova shared details about her diagnosis and subsequent battle with two cancers.

During her tennis career, Navratilova won a whopping 59 Grand Slam titles – 18 singles, 31 doubles and 10 mixed doubles. She joked that she's "never an underachiever," but having not one but two cancer diagnoses was "getting ridiculous."

The 59 Grand Slam titles winner Martina Navratilova opens up on her devastating double cancer diagnosis.

"I was never an underachiever, but this is getting ridiculous."

Watch the global EXCLUSIVE from 8pm Tuesday on TalkTV.@piersmorgan | @Martina | @TalkTV | #PMU

— Piers Morgan Uncensored (@PiersUncensored) March 20, 2023

She said when she was first diagnosed with throat cancer, she was told it was very treatable. But when the breast cancer was detected, her doctor said it "didn't look great."

"That's when I started crying on the table," she told Morgan. "Oh great, I have two cancers at the same time that are not related." 

Navratilova grew up in the Czech Republic under Communist rule, and said that made her tough. Cancer, however, was the toughest thing she ever had to go through, she said. "Giving up, giving in, stopping – that's just never been an option for me," she said.

"You're making me cry again."

The 59 Grand Slam titles winner Martina Navratilova recalls friends sending songs with messages to rally her spirits following a double cancer diagnosis.

Watch the global EXCLUSIVE from 8pm TONIGHT on TalkTV.@piersmorgan | @Martina | @TalkTV

— Piers Morgan Uncensored (@PiersUncensored) March 21, 2023

She also revealed to keep her spirits up, her friends sent her songs. Chris Evert, her one-time tennis rival, had recently battled cancer. The song she sent Navratilova: "Lean On Me." 

Navratilova's wife, Julia Lemigova, who is on "The Real Housewives of Miami," often shared updates about Navratilova's health. During the current season, Lemigova shared the pair was considering adopting a child.

"When you're adopting a child, it has to be about the child," Lemigova said during a reunion episode that aired earlier this month. "And, right now, it's everything about Martina, and for her [to be] getting healthy."

"I'm just waiting for Martina to get better," she said.

Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen - Season 19
"Real Housewives of Miami" cast member Julia Lemigova and tennis star Martina Navratilova on "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen." Bravo

Lemigova recently surprised her wife with a short haircut, similar to the style she had when they first met. "Knowing Martina, because she's so sentimental, I think she's going to cry," Lemigova said. 

"After your wife is diagnosed with two cancers, it really changes your perspective," she told People magazine. "We all have to be strong for her. There is no time for sitting around and crying. And I wanted my hair to illustrate that I am reconnecting with my, well, sophisticated, strong woman who I am, but also showing that in a way I'm doing it for her. And something that I know for sure will put a smile on her face." 

In January, Lemigova shared that they were playing tennis together. 

Caitlin O'Kane

Caitlin O'Kane is a digital content producer covering trending stories for CBS News and its good news brand, The Uplift.

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