“Today, I’m cancer-free, and there’s a 90% chance that ovarian cancer will never come back,” Evert wrote.
Tennis legend Chris Evert shared the news of her recovery. She revealed in a January 17, op-ed published on ESPN that she is “cancer-free” after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in November 2022. Evert began by discussing how her sister Jeanne’s death in 2020 from ovarian cancer helped her detect her cancer early by giving her a “genetic road map.” Evert wrote, "Jeanne wasn’t BRCA positive, but genetic testing revealed she had a BRCA-1 variant that was of ‘uncertain significance,’” she wrote, adding that while at first, they didn’t recommend genetic testing for her and her siblings, things changed in November. “I got a call saying they had reclassified her BRCA variant — the significance was no longer uncertain, it was now very clearly pathogenic, and we should be tested. I was shocked, I didn’t even know that was possible.”
Evert got a blood test done and she found out that she had the same BRCA-1 variant as her sister. Her pathology report found malignant cells and a tumor in her left fallopian tube, reported TODAY. She further discussed the genetic roadmap given by her sister, “It is only because of the genetic roadmap my sister left behind and the power of scientific progress that we caught my cancer early enough to do something about it,” she wrote. She added that if she waited longer she would probably have been diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer. “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 ovarian cancer will never come back,” Evert wrote. Her journey did not end with her own recovery as she also warned people of BRCA mutations and the risks of developing breast cancer, as well as prostate and pancreatic cancers. She wrote "I had two choices: I could monitor my health closely with annual mammograms, MRIs, and ultrasounds, or I could have another surgery to lessen my risk. I wanted to get all the facts before I made my decision. After talking to a lot of doctors and sitting with everything my sister went through, I decided I had to do whatever I could to improve my odds."
Want to share this with all of you. It’s been quite the year, and I am feeling very grateful! 🙏❤️https://t.co/iIZVLMJGX6— Chris Evert (@ChrissieEvert) January 17, 2023
Evert shared how a year after her hysterectomy, she had a double mastectomy. “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.
Evert also said she has one more surgery left to complete reconstruction." She encouraged people to learn about genetic testing. “As relieved as I will be to get to the other side of this, I will always have a heavy heart. I will never heal from losing Jeanne, and I will never take for granted the gift she gave me in the process,” she wrote. “My sister’s journey saved my life, and I hope by sharing mine, I just might save somebody else’s", Evert said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported, “About 50 out of 100 women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation will get breast cancer by the time they turn 70 years old, compared to only seven out of 100 women in the general United States population.”
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Mike Coppola