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Martina Navratilova Live Online Chat About Breast Cancer

Read a transcript of the chat with Martina Navratilova and Dr. Julie Silver about Martina's breast cancer diagnosis

Comment from Claire: I admire your strength so much, how do you stay so focused?

Navratilova: Well what is the alternative? For 40 years I concentrated on yellow tennis ball coming across the net, and the way to get it back over the net was to stay positive. Cancer is an opponent I cannot see but staying positive is still the key. I don’t dwell on what I have but I don’t run away either.

Comment from Colleen: I think someone already asked about family history but it was embedded in another question. I think it's important though. Was there any one in your family who had breast cancer--your mom or grandmother or an aunt or a sister, for instance? 

Navratilova: My mother and my sister both had calcifications. My mother's didn't turn into anything but my sister had biopsy on hers which was negative. So in my family I drew the short straw.

Comment from Jude: I'm really glad you have a positive prognosis! What do you think of recent reports that women may be getting "over-screened" and thus "over-treated"?

Navratilova: I think when it comes to cancer for me personally I would rather be over-treated than under-treated. I would rather know what is going on than be in the dark. The cancer or calcification does not know how old you are.

Dr. Silver: Great question, Jude! On a personal level, I am so happy that I persisted in asking for evaluations. Nearly seven years after I was diagnosed, I am raising my three children. On a professional level this is a complicated issue and one that a lot of experts are hotly debating.

Comment from Chris: Martina, you're my hero already and I have no doubt you will overcome this latest challenge with flying colors. I can only imagine how it must have knocked you sideways but if anyone is a fighter, it's you. Sending you positive energy and yes, another hug :-)

Navratilova: Chris, thank you so much. I love that hug. My tennis friend Jim Courier sent me a sweet email yesterday saying he felt sorry for the cancer because I was going to kick its ass. I said thank you so much Jim. Don't feel sorry for the cancer—but yes I will kick its ass.

Comment from Guest: Did your lumpectomy affect the look of your breasts overall?

Navratilova: So far so good. They are small but still look normal.

Navratilova: The one got really big after the lumpectomy—which was nice for a while.

Dr. Silver: In my book, What Helped Get Me Through: Cancer Survivors Share Wisdom and Hope, I was so impressed with the women who said their bodies told an important story—scars and all. It's difficult to have scars, but one woman got her belly button pierced to highlight another part of her body. Everyone has a story.

Comment from Mark: How can men be most supportive to the women in their lives who are diagnosed with breast cancer?

Dr. Silver: One of my favorite quotes [is] from a woman who said her husband woke up every day and said something like, "Hello Beautiful, thanks so much for fighting so hard so that you can be with us again today." What an amazing man he must have been. Words, support, love. That's what we need!

Comment from Joanne: Dr. Silver were you on Tamoxifen and did you have any side effects? Martina do they plan on putting you on Tamoxifen treatment? I stayed positive for my whole family so they stay the same.

Dr. Silver: I actually sailed through Tamoxifen treatment, but it's not the right choice for everyone.

Navratilova: I am still doing research on Tamoxifen. It has a lot of side effects, and I am not sure I can remember to do anything every day for five years. It is an option but that would not start until after radiation.

Next: Taking vitamins during radiation>>

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