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Tennis great Martina Navratilova has breast cancer

Navratilova admitted she was devastated after learning she had cancer, referring to it as her "personal 9/11."

Tennis great Martina Navratilova has breast cancer. The former tennis superstar told People magazine that doctors detected the cancer in its early stages.

People magazine's website posted a report stating Navratilova has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The disease was detected early, and her prognosis is said to be excellent, wrote the magazine.

Diagnosis stunned Martina
Hall of Fame tennis player Martina Navratilova told the popular celebrity magazine’s website Wednesday that she was shocked and devastated by the news.

The 53-year-old said "I cried" after being informed of the diagnosis following a routine mammogram.

"It knocked me on my ass, really. I feel so in control of my life and my body, and then this comes, and it's completely out of my hands," she continued.

Navratilova' acknowledged she initially intended to keep the news quiet but changed her mind when she thought that speaking out will inspire other women to get mammograms.

Thankfully, the doctors detected the cancer in its early stages, she told the website. It's a non-invasive form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS. Navratilova's physician and good friend Dr. Mindy Nagle says the cancer was confined to the milk ducts and had not spread to the breast tissue.

"It was the best-case scenario you could imagine for detecting breast cancer," Dr. Nagle told People.

According to People, Navratilova, the nine-time Wimbledon women's singles champion, had a lumpectomy and will begin six weeks of radiation therapy next month.

A surgeon at UC San Francisco says DCIS strikes almost 70,000 American women a year and that "there's only a one-percent chance of anyone with this diagnosis would die of breast cancer."

Also the Czech-born tennis pro, who is also ‘I'm A Celebrity’ runner-up, appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America," where she said she was diagnosed in February with an aggressive form of DCIS, reports ESPN.

Martina was devastated
Navratilova admitted she was devastated after learning she had cancer, referring to it as her "personal 9/11."

"I was devastated," she told interviewer Robin Roberts on GMA, according to the tabloid.

"It is just in that one breast," she said. "I'm OK and I'll make a full recovery."

The tennis star said although she is fine physically, she struggles emotionally at times, especially when it comes to talking about the diagnosis.

"I'm this healthy person, I've been healthy all my life, and all of a sudden I have cancer. Are you kidding me?" she told GMA.

"It was a total shock because I've been so healthy," USA Today quoted her as telling in a phone call from New York Tuesday evening.

What inspired her to speak publicly
Navratilova acknowledged she initially intended to keep the news quiet but changed her mind when she thought that speaking out will inspire other women to get mammograms.

"The reason I wanted to speak about this is to encourage these woman to have mammograms," she said. "I just want to encourage women to have that yearly check-up."

The tennis legend said she was feeling healthy at the time of her diagnosis.

"I was feeling absolutely 100 percent fine," she said.

About the tennis superstar
Navratilova is one of the greatest tennis players in the history of the sport, with 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women's doubles titles and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.

She left tennis in 1994 after winning 167 singles titles. In 2006, she closed her competitive career by winning the mixed doubles championship at the U.S. Open for her 59th Grand Slam title. Navratilova won six straight Wimbledon singles titles from 1982-87.