Martina Navratilova Announces Throat and Breast Cancer Diagnoses—Here are the Signs to Look For

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova announced this week she has been diagnosed with throat and breast cancer. "This double whammy is serious but still fixable," said the 66-year-old in a statement. "I'm hoping for a favorable outcome. It's going to stink for a while, but I'll fight with all have I got." What was the first symptom she noticed? And what should you do if you feel a symptom? Read on.

1

This Was the First Sign Navratilova Had Cancer

A young woman is struggling with pain, isolated on background
A young woman is struggling with pain, isolated on background

"I have been diagnosed with stage 1 throat cancer," Navratilova's statement began. "The prognosis is good and I will start her treatment this month. The cancer type is HPV and this particular type responds really well to treatment. I noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck during the WTA finals in Fort Worth. When it didn't go down, a biopsy was performed, the results came back as Stage 1 throat cancer. At the same time as I was undergoing the tests for the throat, a suspicious form was found in her breast, which was subsequently diagnosed as cancer, completely unrelated to the throat cancer. Both these cancers are in their early stages with great outcomes. I won't be covering the Aussie Open for Tennis Channel from their studio but hope to be able to join in from time to time by zoom."

2

These are the Signs of Throat Cancer

Thyroid gland cancer. showing thyroid gland with tumor. 3d illustration
Thyroid gland cancer. showing thyroid gland with tumor. 3d illustration

Throat cancer, also known as pharyngeal cancer, is a type of cancer that affects the pharynx, which is the hollow tube that runs from the back of the mouth to the esophagus. There are several types of pharyngeal cancer, including cancer of the nasopharynx (the upper part of the pharynx), the oropharynx (the middle part of the pharynx), and the hypopharynx (the lower part of the pharynx).

Symptoms of throat cancer can include:

Persistent sore throat

Pain when swallowing

Hoarseness or changes in the voice

Swelling in the neck

Unexplained weight loss

Chronic coughing or coughing up blood

Difficulty breathing or speaking

Ear pain

A lump or mass in the neck

It is important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other, less serious conditions. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

3

These are the Signs of Breast Cancer

Female health check awareness. Closeup of young woman in pullover holding pink ribbon, symbol of breast cancer, timely diagnosis, support of oncology patients. studio shot isolated on pink background
Female health check awareness. Closeup of young woman in pullover holding pink ribbon, symbol of breast cancer, timely diagnosis, support of oncology patients. studio shot isolated on pink background

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of the breast. It is the second most common type of cancer in women, after skin cancer. Early detection of breast cancer is important for successful treatment, so it is important for women to be aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast. Lumps may be painless, but some can be painful. Other symptoms of breast cancer may include:

Swelling or thickening of the breast or underarm

Changes in the size or shape of the breast

Dimpling or puckering of the skin on the breast

Inverted nipple

Redness, warmth, or tenderness of the breast

Discharge from the nipple (not breast milk)

Itchy, scaly, or inflamed skin on the breast

4

These are the Risk Factors

Unhealthy products. food bad for figure, skin, heart and teeth. Assortment of fast carbohydrates food.
Unhealthy products. food bad for figure, skin, heart and teeth. Assortment of fast carbohydrates food.

Risk factors for throat cancer include:

Smoking tobacco or using tobacco products

Heavy alcohol use

Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV)

A diet low in fruits and vegetables

A history of head and neck cancer

If you have any of these risk factors, it is important to talk to your doctor about your risk of developing throat cancer and to follow recommended screening guidelines.

There are several risk factors for breast cancer, including:

Being a woman (breast cancer is much more common in women than in men)

Increasing age (risk of breast cancer increases as you get older)

Personal or family history of breast cancer

Inheriting certain gene mutations (such as BRCA1 and BRCA2)

Starting menstruation at an early age or going through menopause at a later age

Never having given birth or having a first child after age 35

Having a diet high in fat or alcohol

Exposing the chest area to radiation (such as for treatment of another cancer)

Taking certain hormone therapies, such as estrogen and progesterone

5

These are the Treatment Options

Infusion pump feeding IV drip into patients arm focus on needle
Infusion pump feeding IV drip into patients arm focus on needle

Treatment options for throat cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these approaches. The specific treatment plan will depend on the type and stage of the cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient. It is important to work with a team of cancer specialists to determine the best treatment plan for you.

As for breast cancer: It is important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other, less serious conditions. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

It is recommended that women over the age of 50 get a mammogram every two years to screen for breast cancer. Women at higher risk for breast cancer (such as those with a family history of the disease) may need to start getting mammograms at an earlier age and/or more frequently. If you have any concerns about your breast health, be sure to talk to your doctor. Early detection is key to successful treatment of breast cancer.