Linda Evangelista opens up about two breast cancer diagnoses in five years

linda evangelista posing for the camera
Linda Evangelista on being diagnosed with cancerAstrid Stawiarz - Getty Images

For the first time, supermodel Linda Evangelista has opened up about battling breast cancer twice in the last five years. The 58-year-old - and new Wall Street Journal digital cover star - revealed her diagnoses in a new interview, sharing that 2018 was the year she first learned of her illness.

"It was detected in my annual mammogram," Linda recalled. "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," she said, "breast cancer was not going to kill me."

Unfortunately, four years later in July 2022, Linda noticed another bump on her breast. Shortly after, doctors told her that her cancer had returned. Following the second diagnosis, the model explained how she ordered her oncologist to "dig a hole" in her chest.

"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?" she stated, before vowing that she won't be "dying from this."

Linda then noted that she entered a mode that she knows "how to do." Which was (and still is) to do what you've got to do to "get through it." "And that’s what I did," she said.

Since then, Linda has shared that her post-care cancer oncologist labelled her prognosis as "good." However, good is not good enough for the model, who asked her doctor why it wasn't great. Well, "once it’s come back, there’s a chance," they said. Linda also revealed she has "a horrible Oncotype score," meaning her risk of the cancer returning is higher.

For Linda, who acknowledged that her future is uncertain, her life now is all about being grateful for each and every day. Admitting she has "one foot in the grave," the 58-year-old added that she's "totally in celebration mode."

"I’ve come through some horrible health issues. I’m at a place where I’m so happy celebrating my book [Linda Evangelista Photographed by Steven Meisel], my life."

FYI, the collaborative book project - due for release on 13 September - with her longtime friend and fashion photographer explores the pair's work together over the decades. Linda confirmed that all of the proceeds will go to a breast cancer research charity - but which organisation is yet to be decided.

"I’m so happy to be alive. Anything that comes now is bonus."

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