Chris Evert opens up about her stage 1C ovarian cancer diagnosis

It was short, simple and yet so damn complicated.

I got a text on Dec. 7.

"I can’t talk right now, but the pathology report came back today and revealed I have a malignant tumor in my fallopian tube; going in for more surgery next week then chemo … f— me…"

I read the text five times before it sunk in.

My friend Chrissie has cancer. The disease had killed her sister Jeanne. My god.

"No! S—. I’m so sorry. Call when you can/ready to. I’m here for whatever you need." McKendry and Evert working together on set at the Australian Open. Chris McKendry At first, she needed more information. She needed privacy to process it. And she needed to physically recover from two surgeries. Then, she needed to tell her story. In good times and bad, Chrissie has always owned her story. So, here we are.

Chris Evert has been diagnosed with stage 1C ovarian cancer. It’s in an early stage, discovered following a preventive hysterectomy. Cancer has not been detected elsewhere in her body. This week, she began her first of six rounds of chemotherapy.

With time for some perspective, she says, "I’ve lived a very charmed life. Now I have some challenges ahead of me. But, I have comfort in knowing the chemotherapy is to ensure that cancer does not come back."

But rightfully, she is a bit nervous.

"As someone who has always had control over my life, I have no idea how I’ll respond to chemotherapy," Chrissie says. "I have to give in to something higher."

Dr. Joel Cardenas, of the gynecology/oncology department at Cleveland Clinic Florida near Fort Lauderdale, is Chrissie’s surgeon.

"70-80% of ovarian cancer is diagnosed at Stage 3 or 4," Cardenas explains. "Three months or so from now, she’d be Stage 3 or 4. If nothing is done, it reaches the abdomen."

For most women, including Chrissie, there are no symptoms. Early-stage ovarian cancer is virtually impossible to detect.She reminded me that her annual exams, including tests for the amount of cancer antigen 125 protein in her blood, her ultrasounds and MRI with contrast were all negative."I am so lucky," she says with the conviction of someone who has witnessed the unlucky. Chris and her sister Jeanne Evert Dubin, who died from ovarian cancer in February 2020 at 62. Chris sites her as motivation for her own treatment journey, saying, "She’ll get me through it." Chris Evert Jeanne Evert Dubin, Chrissie’s younger sister, also a former professional tennis player, died in February 2020. She was 62. The two sisters were racing through the airport to make their flight to the WTA Finals in Singapore in October 2017 when Chrissie realized Jeanne was out of breath and couldn’t keep up."True to Jeanne’s personality and like many other women, Jeanne was busy taking care of everyone else," Chrissie says.Jeanne promised to see the doctor as soon as they returned. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was late-stage and had spread. Chrissie describes watching Jeanne in treatment as "devastating and traumatizing." She says the […]

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