Tennis Star Chris Evert Announces Cancer Relapse Nearly 1 Year After Remission

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Chris Evert

Tennis legend Chris Evert announced this week that her cancer has returned.

Evert, 68, was first diagnosed with Stage I ovarian cancer in January 2022, and a year later, she in remission. In January 2023, the former athlete revealed in an op-ed for ESPN that she was officially "cancer-free."

Even though Evert had said at the time that she only had a 10-percent chance of the cancer coming back, her doctors have now found cancer cells in the same pelvic region not even a year after remission.

"Since I was first diagnosed with cancer two years ago, I've been very open about my experience," she said in a statement released via ESPN on Friday, Dec. 8. "I wanted to give all of you an update. My cancer is back."

Fortunately, Evert said the cancer has once again been detected early.

"While this is a diagnosis I never wanted to hear, I once again feel fortunate that it was caught early," she wrote, while revealing that she received a PET CT scan and subsequently underwent robotic surgery. "All [cancer] cells were removed, and I have begun another round of chemotherapy."

Due to the relapse, Evert will be unable to join her colleagues in Melbourne for ESPN's 2024 Australian Open coverage, but she expected to be "ready for the rest of the Grand Slam season!"

Before concluding her message, Evert stressed the importance of being proactive when it comes to your health.

"I encourage everyone to know your family history and advocate for yourself. Early detection saves lives," she said, urging readers to "be thankful for your health this holiday season."

Evert has a significant family history with ovarian cancer, as her sister, Jeanne Evert Dubin, was previously diagnosed with the same disease, though hers wasn't detected as early. She passed away in February 2020 at the age of 62.

Following her sister's death, genetic testing revealed Evert was positive for a BRCA1 gene variant. In December 2021, she got a preventative hysterectomy, though she was diagnosed with the disease the following month.

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But Evert has previously expressed that her sister's battle with cancer has led to her own early detection. In her ESPN op-ed, she wrote, "It is only because of the genetic road map my sister left behind and the power of scientific progress that we caught my cancer early enough to do something about it."

"My doctor said if left undiscovered, in four months' time I would probably have been Stage 3 like Jeanne, with very few options," she added. "Instead, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer, and I immediately began six rounds of chemotherapy."

Evert is now going through chemotherapy once again, and we look forward to the next time she can be declared "cancer-free."

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