Supermodel Linda Evangelista has revealed she was diagnosed with breast cancer twice in the past five years.
Speaking with WSJ. Magazine for the new Fall Men’s Style issue, Evangelista detailed her history with the disease, starting with her initial diagnosis in 2018.
“It was detected in my annual mammogram,” she said in the interview, which was published Tuesday. “The margins were not good, and due to other health factors, without hesitation, because I wanted to put everything behind me and not to have to deal with this, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy.”
Evangelista said she believed she was “set for life” and would achieve remission. In July 2022, however, she felt a lump in her breast and quickly learned the cancer had returned.
Telling her oncologist to “dig a hole” in her chest, the model said she demanded her doctors remove the cancerous tissue regardless of the physical outcomes.
“I don’t want it to look pretty,” she recalled telling a surgeon. “I want you to excavate. I want to see a hole in my chest when you’re done. Do you understand me? I’m not dying from this.”
Evangelista said her numerical risk of cancer recurrence is “horrible,” and her prognosis was merely “good” rather than the “great” she had hoped for, according to her post-cancer care oncologist.
Despite this, Evangelista said she is committed to enjoying life to its fullest.
“I know I have one foot in the grave, but I’m totally in celebration mode,” she told the magazine. “I’ve come through some horrible health issues. I’m at a place where I’m so happy celebrating my book, [a collaborative project with longtime photographer Steven Meisel], my life. I’m so happy to be alive. Anything that comes now is bonus.”
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