Openly lesbian tennis legend Martina
Navratilova says she has breast cancer, the AP reported.
Doctors found a non-invasive cancer
during a routine mammogram in January. Navratilova's prognosis is
excellent – her type of cancer has a low fatality rate (less than
She had a lumpectomy and will begin six
weeks of radiation therapy in May.
“I cried,” Navratilova said during
a Good Morning America interview. “I could not believe it.
I thought I was so healthy.”
The 53-year-old Navratilova dominated
the women's tennis circuit for more than a decade, racking up 18
Grand Slam wins and a record 9 women's single titles at Wimbledon.
Navratilova fled her native
Czechoslovakia and was granted political asylum in the United States
at the age of 18.
She's also an avid gay rights advocate.
In 2000, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights
advocate, honored Navratilova with their National Equality Award, the
group's highest honor.
Navratilova, who announced she was gay
in 1981, is among only a handful of openly gay sports figures.