American tennis player Nicole Gibbs can thank a recent dental visit for potentially saving her life.
“About a month ago, I went to the dentist and was alerted to a growth on the roof of my mouth,” she wrote on Twitter this week. “The biopsy came back positive for a rare cancer called mucoepidermoid carcinoma (salivary gland cancer). Fortunately, this form of cancer has a great prognosis and my surgeon is confident that surgery alone will be sufficient treatment.”
The 117th-ranked Gibbs, who made it to the third round of the 2014 US Open, was headed to the French Open but will skip it to undergo treatment. On the bright side, she said her doctor “okayed me to play an extra couple tournaments these past few weeks which served as a nice distraction.”
She is set to undergo surgery on Friday, May 17 and expects a four- to six-week recovery period. “My goal is to be back for Wimbledon qualifying at the end of June,” she wrote.