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Linda Evangelista Shares She Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer Twice in 5 Years

Linda Evangelista Says Cryolipolysis "Permanently Disfigured" Her

Linda Evangelista is opening up about her private health battle.

The supermodel, 58, recently shared that she was diagnosed with breast cancer twice in the past five years—first in December 2018 and then in July 2022.

"It was detected in my annual mammogram," Evangelista told WSJ. Magazine in an interview published Sept. 5 of her first diagnosis. "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. Thinking I was good and set for life. Breast cancer was not going to kill me." 

Linda Evangelista Shares She Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer Twice in 5 Years

However, just a few years later she had a recurrence, with the fashion icon recalling feeling a lump on her chest in July 2022 and her surgical oncologist seeming unconcerned.

Still, Evangelista said she underwent an MRI just to be sure, with a biopsy then confirming that she had cancer in her pectoral muscle.

photosFamous Breast Cancer Survivors' Empowering Quotes

The runway star made it clear to her surgeon that she was more focused on removing the cancer than how the procedure could change her appearance.

"Dig a hole in my chest," she remembered telling him. "I don't want it to look pretty. 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."

Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

According to WSJ. Magazine, Evangelista then underwent chemotherapy and radiation. And while she confirmed that her prognosis is good, she does have concerns about the cancer coming back—especially as she shared that she has a "horrible" oncotype (or reoccurrence) score.

"I know I have one foot in the grave," Evangelista added, "but I'm totally in celebration mode."

Despite a challenging few years, she kept her cancer battles private and noted "only a handful of people knew" about her cancer battles—including Salma Hayek, who is married to her ex François-Henri Pinault

"I love that woman," Evangelista—who shares 16-year-old son Augustin James Evangelista with Pinault—continued. "She's a woman's woman. Just like me, [she's] so family-oriented, and so positive. She's a blessing to us….She was very, very generous and kind to me while I was going through my chemo." 

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This isn't the first time Evangelista has spoken about her health. In 2021, she stated on Instagram that she "was brutally disfigured by Zeltiq's CoolSculpting procedure" after undergoing seven sessions from 2015 to 2016. Evangelista sued Zeltiq Aesthetics for $50 million and announced in July 2022 that they settled the case for an undisclosed sum. Evangelista noted to WSJ. Magazine that she does not connect her cancer with CoolSculpting. 

"I've come through some horrible health issues. I'm at a place where I'm so happy celebrating my book, my life," she told the outlet, referencing her upcoming release Linda Evangelista Photographed by Steven Meisel. "I'm so happy to be alive. Anything that comes now is bonus."

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