Tennis legendsays she is “cancer-free” after she was diagnosed more than a year ago.
The 18-time Grand Slam winner wrote that she learned she had the same BRCA gene mutation that her late sister, Jeanne, had, leaving her with a higher chance for ovarian and breast cancer. She said doctors performed a hysterectomy as a preventative measure, but they had found cancer in her fallopian tubes.
But because of the “genetic road map” left behind by her sister, who died in 2020 from ovarian cancer, the ESPN tennis analyst said doctors were able to catch her 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 wrote. “Instead, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer, and I immediately began six rounds of chemotherapy. Today, I’m cancer-free, and there’s a 90% chance that the ovarian cancer will never come back.”
Even after her positive news, she was still left with a decision on whether she’d monitor her health with annual mammograms, MRIs and ultrasounds – or have a double mastectomy. After consulting with doctors, she went through with the latter.
“I held my breath while I waited for my pathology results. Luckily, the report came back clean and clear, and my risk of developing breast cancer has been reduced by more than 90%,” she wrote.
At the end of her op-ed, Evert advised people to not ignore their bodies.
“Trust your gut, know your family history, learn about genetic testing and be your own advocate,” she said.