Supermodel Linda Evangelista, who rose to fame in the 1990s, has revealed in an interview that she survived breast cancer twice in five years.
The fashion photographer described her diagnosis and multiple health challenges in an interview with The Wall Street Journal magazine published Tuesday.
Ms Evangelista, 58, said she was first diagnosed in 2018 after an annual mammogram. The magazine noted that this is the first time she has spoken publicly about her cancer.
Evangelista did not immediately respond for comment on Tuesday.
In response to her diagnosis, she opted to undergo a double mastectomy, she said, “thinking I was fine and ready for life. Breast cancer wasn’t going to kill me.”
However, four years later, in 2022, she learned the cancer had returned, this time in her pectoral muscle.
She remembers telling her surgeon, “Make a hole in my chest.”
“I don’t want it to look pretty. I want you to dig. When you’re done, I want to see a hole in my breast,” she told the doctor. “Do you know me? I won’t die from this.”
After undergoing the second surgery, Ms Evangelista said in an interview that her current prognosis, as her post-cancer care oncologist said, was “good”.
However, she said, her doctors gave her a “scary tumor type score,” a number that represents the risk of the cancer coming back.
Still, she says, the uncertainty makes her days more rewarding.
“I knew I had one foot in the grave, but I was totally in celebration mode,” she said.
The breast cancer diagnosis wasn’t Ms Evangelista’s only health concern in recent years.
Two years ago, she revealed in an Instagram post that the side effects of CoolSculpting (a “fat freezing” procedure) had left her “permanently deformed” and “severely disfigured” as she developed paradoxical fat hyperplasia. A firm mass of tissue appears in the treated area.
The condition, she said, caused her to become depressed and reclusive after she “stopped looking like myself”.
She then sued Zeltiq Aesthetics, the company behind the procedure, for $50 million and settled in July 2022 for an undisclosed amount.
Ms. Evangelista was one of the world’s top five supermodels in the 1990s, and since her cool sculpting surgery and side effects, she has continued to work and return to the spotlight.
In 2022, she’s on the cover of British Vogue, and starting September 20, she’ll appear in the new Apple TV+ documentary “Supermodel.” The project will reunite her with other ’90s supermodels including Christie Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford. The four women became famous when they sang lyrics duet in George Michael’s video “Freedom 90” in 1990.