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Facing the Toughest Opponent of her Life, Tennis Legend and AARP’S Health & Fitness Ambassador Martina Navratilova Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Media Contact: AARP Media Relations,, 202-434-2560

**LIVE Online Chat Thursday April 8th @ 1PM EST**

WASHINGTON (April 7, 2010) – With 59 grand slam titles under her belt—including a record nine Wimbledon singles championships—tennis legend and AARP’s Health & Fitness Ambassador Martina Navratilova today revealed she was diagnosed with grade three DCIS (Ductal carcinoma in situ) breast cancer earlier this year. Dubbed one of the “Top 40 Athletes of All Time” by Sports Illustrated, Navratilova is speaking out about her toughest opponent yet in hopes of raising awareness about the importance of preventative health screenings.

Navratilova will be sharing the ups and downs of this emotionally and physically draining battle during a LIVE online health chat Thursday, April 8th at 1 PM EST at Navratilova has been working with AARP and its members for the past two years to promote wellness and healthy, active living.

Initially detected during a routine mammogram screening, Navratilova went on to have a biopsy that proved to be positive. After a successful lumpectomy, Navratilova is now cancer-free and will be undergoing a six-week radiation treatment beginning in May.

Statement from Martina Navratilova

“Throughout my decades-long tennis career, I have faced some really tough opponents across the net—Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, and even the Williams sisters in doubles. What I never anticipated was that my toughest opponent would be off the court: cancer.”

“The day I was told I had breast cancer was my own personal 9-11. I was completely shocked and the news literally knocked the wind out of me. This is a huge wakeup call for me and just goes to show no matter how much you watch what you eat or exercise, you just never know. Here I am, the health and fitness ambassador for AARP, speaking to millions each month about staying healthy, and I let my annual checkups fall to the bottom of my to-do list. It's not all about eating right and exercising; preventative steps can make just as much – or in some cases more – of a difference. Getting my mammogram literally saved my life.”

Advice from Martina

“Staying healthy and independent is a lifelong job. We need to take personal responsibility to take steps to avoid preventable diseases and live healthier lives.”

“Getting recommended screenings and immunizations are an important part of staying healthy. You should talk with your doctor or nurse about which preventive services you should receive and when. And then make sure you follow through and show up.”

“We need to be champions of our own health and fitness – make yourself a priority.”

LIVE Online Chat
Navratilova will be interacting with AARP’s members via a LIVE chat on Thursday, April 8th at 1pm EST – she will be joined by Dr. Julie Silver, a physician and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, who will moderate the session and weigh in with her professional opinion as needed. Dr. Silver is also a breast cancer survivor who took her own journey through the “healing zone,” perfecting her healing techniques as she worked to speed her own recovery. The LIVE chat can be accessed at Navratilova’s monthly health and fitness articles are available on

Approaching her 50th birthday, she became the oldest player ever to win a Grand Slam title in 2006. Off the court, Navratilova has lived an equally successful life. As one of the first openly gay athletes/public figures, she has spent much of her career overcoming prejudice.
Navratilova lives in Sarasota, Fla., and Aspen, Colo., outplaying women half her age on the tennis court.

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