Former British number 1 Elena Baltacha, who retired last year at age 30, has been diagnosed with liver cancer. At age 19, Baltacha was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, known to be a precurser to liver cancer, though the succession of events is rare. Baltacha's immune system has been compromised for a while.
Baltacha is currently receiving treatment for the cancer. There is speculation that an attempt will be made to shrink the tumor so that it can be removed. Liver cancer is rarely diagnosed in someone as young as Baltacha, who says she is "fighting this illness with everything I have."
Her body riddled with injuries, Baltacha, or "Bally," as she is known in the tennis world, had to travel with a large collection of pills in order to manage her fatigue level, which was always vulnerable because of her liver condition. It was remarkable that her career lasted so long, but Baltacha never let her illness get in the way of competing.