Linda Evangelista reveals she had breast cancer twice in 5 years: ‘I’m so happy to be alive’

Linda Evangelista revealed she was diagnosed with breast cancer twice in five years.

The supermodel, 58, said in a new interview that she refused to die from the disease and told her oncologist to “dig a hole” in her chest to “excavate” the tumor.

“It was detected in my annual mammogram,” she told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday of her first diagnosis in 2018.

“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.”

After undergoing the procedure, Evangelista thought she was “good and set for life” and “breast cancer was not going to kill” her.

However, she discovered the disease had returned in July 2022 when she felt a lump on her breast.

Linda Evangelista
The supermodel has undergone multiple procedures since she was diagnosed.

“’Dig a hole in my chest,’” she told her doctor after the second diagnosis.

“’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,’” the Canada native reiterated.

“I just went into this mode that I know how to do — just do what you’ve got to do and get through it. And that’s what I did.”

Linda Evangelista
“‘Dig a hole in my chest,’” she told her doctor.

The iconic model shared that her current prognosis is “good,” according to her post-cancer care oncologist.

“‘Why isn’t it great?’” she recalled asking her doctor.

Evangelista was told she received a “horrible oncotype score,” which represents the likelihood of her cancer returning.

Linda Evangelista
The Canada native previously retreated from the spotlight after a botched cosmetic procedure.
Getty Images

Linda Evangelista
She sued CoolSculpting’s parent company for $50 million in damages.

“I know I have one foot in the grave, but I’m totally in celebration mode,” she said.

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

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Evangelista returned to the modeling world last year when she walked in the Fendi show as part of New York Fashion Week.

It came six years after she retreated from the spotlight following a “botched” cosmetic procedure that she claimed left her “deformed.”

Linda Evangelista
She returned to the modeling world in 2022 for New York Fashion Week.
Getty Images

She sued CoolSculpting’s parent company, Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc., for $50 million in damages and settled out of court last July.

“I look forward to the next chapter of my life with friends and family, and am happy to put this matter behind me,” she wrote on Instagram at the time.

“I am truly grateful for the support I have received from those who have reached out.”

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