Former tennis star Chris Evert, an 18-time Grand Slam singles champion, has an early form of ovarian cancer, he said in a story published on ESPN.com on Friday.
The stage 1C cancer was detected after a preventive hysterectomy and has not spread anywhere else in her body, according to the story. Ms. Evert, 67, who began the first of six rounds of chemotherapy this week, is an analyst for ESPN.
The cancer was removed during the hysterectomy and there is a greater than 90 percent chance that it will not come back, according to the story.
“I have lived a very charmed life,” Mrs. Evert said in the story. “Now I have some challenges ahead of me. But I take comfort in knowing that the chemotherapy is to make sure the cancer doesn’t come back.”
A representative for Ms Evert did not immediately respond to an email Friday night.
Ms. Evert is one of the most celebrated players in the history of tennis. She became the first player, male or female, to win 1,000 singles matches and was ranked first or second in the world between 1975 and 1986, according to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Dr. Joel Cardenas, Ms. Evert’s doctor, said in the story that an early diagnosis is more likely if a patient is up-to-date with doctor visits, understands her family history and has a good relationship with her gynecologist.
“Women should also be aware of the risk factors: endometriosis, a history of breast cancer and infertility are among them,” she said. “The average age for diagnosis of ovarian cancer is 63 years.”
Genetic testing and counseling are recommended if a patient has a family history of ovarian cancer, Mr. Cardenas said.
Ms Evert’s younger sister, Jeanne Evert Dubin, also a professional tennis player, died of ovarian cancer in February 2020 aged 62. Ovarian cancer can be hereditary, and the risk is increased if a mother, sister, or daughter has had the disease. , according to the American Cancer Society.
Ms. Dubin was with Ms. Evert when the couple passed through an airport in October 2017 when the older sister noticed that Ms. Dubin was out of breath, according to the ESPN story. A short time later, a doctor detected ovarian cancer in Mrs. Dubin. It was at a late stage and had spread.
“When I go into chemotherapy, she is my inspiration,” said Ms. Evert. I’ll be thinking about her. And she will help me get through it.