Widely known as one of the most successful and influential models of the last several years, Linda Evangelista has been making headlines and transforming the modeling industry since beginning her career in 1984. Appearing on more than 700 magazine covers–including Vogue’s September 2023 cover aptly titled “The Greatest of All Time” alongside Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington–Evangelista is a face and a name we all know and love. This week, the 58-year-old supermodel added “survivor” to her list of titles, opening up about being diagnosed with breast cancer twice in five years.
Linda Evangelista’s breast cancer battle
This month, Evangelista appeared on the cover of WSJ Magazine’s Fall Men’s Style Issue, but the star’s interview for the publication covered topics much more serious than just fashion. Evangelista revealed to the magazine that, back in 2018, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “It was detected in my annual mammogram,” she told WSJ. “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.”
But, as the model went on to explain, the procedure was unfortunately not the end of her breast cancer battle. Not even five years later, in July 2022, Evangelista was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time. “I just went into this mode that I know how to do—just do what you’ve got to do and get through it,” she began, “And that’s what I did.” Upon her second diagnosis, Evangelista was serious with the doctors about her commitment to getting rid of the cancer once and for all. “Dig a hole in my chest,” she told her oncologist, “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.”
Where Evangelista stands now
Luckily, Linda Evangelista says her post-cancer oncologist told her that her prognosis after her second round of treatment is good, but the star is still wary. “Why isn’t it great?” she wondered, and her doctor explained that once the cancer has recurred, the chances of another scare are more likely, plus her oncotype score—a number that predicts the recurrence rate for cancer in an individual—was “horrible.” But, despite the not-so-perfect prognosis, Evangelista is maintaining a positive outlook. “I know I have one foot in the grave, but I’m totally in celebration mode,” she explains. “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.”