MADRID – Tennis legends and cancer survivors Martina Navratilova and Carla Suarez Navarro shared testimonials about the lifesaving importance of preventive care during a May 4, 2022 panel discussion at the Mutua Madrid Open, contributing their voices to the Hologic WTA Tour’s mission of championing women’s health worldwide.
The event, held for the media and moderated by tennis broadcaster Catherine Whitaker, spotlighted the WTA’s latest endeavors with its title and official health partner, the medical technology innovator and global women’s health leader Hologic. These two pioneers for women recently formed a multi-year alliance to elevate gender equity and emphasize the benefits of early detection and treatment.
Speaking candidly about her own breast cancer experience, WTA Legend Martina Navratilova said: “As athletes, we’re all about health and taking care of our bodies, but we’re used to injuries. We’re used to rehabbing and having surgery. This is about women’s health, which you cannot rehab. You need this prevention. It’s about making women aware of how to take care of themselves, because as athletes yes, we take care of our bodies, but as women, we are the last to take care of ourselves. We take care of everybody else first. For me, I went four years in between breast exams. Thankfully, I caught it early.”
Serving as an inspiration and embodiment of strength for so many in Spain and around the world, Carla Suarez Navarro shared similar sentiments on the importance of early detection surrounding her personal battle with cancer. “Sometimes feeling fine and thinking that you are well is not enough, which is why it's important to have checkups, blood tests, etc.,” she said. “This could be something that saves your life, as long as you catch it in time.”
Joining Navratilova and Suarez Navarro for the panel conversation were Jose Yebra, General Manager of France, Italy, and Iberia for Hologic, and Micky Lawler, WTA President.
Addressing the crowd of attendees, Lawler discussed the pivotal objectives of the partnership.
“Together our voice is much stronger,” Lawler said. “When people ask us ‘Who is Hologic,’ we can explain exactly what Hologic does by carrying the message of preventive health to a wider, global platform of women.”
Building on that, Yebra noted key indicators from the Hologic Global Women’s Health Index, which provides unprecedented, measurable insights from women about their own well-being across 116 countries and territories – the largest women’s health survey ever conducted.
“We believe that the power of our combined effort will impact women’s health around the globe, making sure everyone knows how crucial early detection is to saving women’s lives,” Yebra said. “This is especially important when, during the pandemic, many women did not access doctor appointments or screening appointments and consequently, we saw an increase in the number of cases of breast and cervical cancer diagnoses.”
In conjunction with the ongoing Hologic WTA Tour mission of championing women’s health, the panel event concluded by spotlighting the “WTA Charities ACEing Cancer by Hologic” campaign -- a philanthropic program dedicated to supporting the fight against cancers affecting women. To date, the campaign has raised $28,680 USD by donations for every ace by a WTA player at WTA 500 and 1000 level tournaments so far this year.