Former Team GB cyclist Sharon Laws has been diagnosed with cervical cancer which she says is "treatable but not curable".
Laws, 42, started six months of chemotherapy this week.
The Kenya-born cyclist, a former British champion in time trial, road racing and mountain biking, and retired in August.
"As a professional cyclist I've had my share of setbacks. I have come back each time," she said in a statement.
"I hope that these experiences and my life as a professional athlete have prepared me for what will be my biggest challenge so far."
Laws was advised to have a biopsy on swollen lymph glands by her team doctor at Podium Ambition in late July, after initially attributing them to "a series of colds".
After discovering they were secondary cancer tumours, tests revealed further infected lymph nodes in the pelvis, and cervical cancer.
"Obviously I am trying to come to terms with what is happening," said Laws, who competed at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
"I had exciting retirement plans - learning Spanish and volunteer work in South America, bike guiding and environmental consultancy. These will now have to be put on hold."