Talk TV: Martina Navratilova talks about cancer with Piers Morgan
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Tennis pro Martina Navratilova’s interview with Piers Morgan was broadcast on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. On Piers Morgan Uncensored, Martina opened up about her “first” time encountering cancer. The 18 times Grand Slam singles winner revealed: “The first time it happened was 13 years ago.
“It was DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), which means it could turn into cancer but it’s kind of a pre-cancer situation, but you still have to do the radiation.
“So, it was a shock to the system but compared to when I got this diagnosis that was a piece of a cake.”
This time round, the Czech–born American noticed a swollen lymph node that she first attributed to the side effects of a shingles vaccine.
But, when a couple of weeks went on by, and her left lymph node was still swollen, Martina went to the doctor.
Following tests, Martina was diagnosed with “p16” throat cancer that is “extremely treatable”.
When learning about the “95 percent” success rate for a full recovery, Martina described the feeling as a “big relief”.
Detailing the process of further investigation, Martina said: “They know it’s cancer. They know it’s in the throat but they don’t know where, so they needed to do a PET scan.
“Then you don’t eat, and then they give you glucose, and then the cancer sucks the glucose. So, that’s where they know where the cancer is.
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“So, that’s when they see exactly where it is in the throat and my breast lit up as well… it goes red.”
Referencing Martina’s cancer 13 years ago, Piers asked: “And this was the other breast to the one that you had the first?”
Martina replied: “First one was on the left, lumpectomy and two cuts on the lymph nodes, and the right one is a different cancer.
“Similar area but this was actually a real tumour that was 7 to 8mm. So when they caught it so early, they could not see it on the mammogram which I just had.”
Martina expressed her emotional rollercoaster: “So, I find out it is throat cancer, I think I could be dying but I find out, no, it’s very treatable.
“Then they found the right breast and when I had the biopsy on the right breast, the doctor was saying, ‘Erm, this doesn’t look great.'”
Martina shared her increasing level of fear following the additional cancer diagnosis.
“You definitely come face to face with your mortality a lot more when you’re 65 compared to when you’re 50 or 55, or whatever I was… 52.
“I knew it was going to be hard but I didn’t realise it was going to be as hard as it really was.”
During treatment, Martina lost 15lbs, explaining her throat would close up, meaning she “couldn’t even yawn… I couldn’t sneeze because it was so swollen”.
Ringing the bell once she was cancer-free, Martina said she will be diligent to attend her health check-ups.
Piers Morgan Uncensored is next on Thursday, March 23, TalkTV – available in the UK on Sky (522), Virgin Media (606), Freeview (237), Freesat (217) and Sky Glass (508) – at 8pm, starring American politician Ron DeSantis.
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