Today marks the anniversary of the death of Eva María Duarte de Perón (7 May 1919 – 26 July 1952).
Eva Perón (usually referred to as Evita) was the wife of Argentine President Juan Perón (1895–1974). She was the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death from cervical cancer in 1952 at age 33.
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Evita’s Cervical Cancer
On 9 January 1950, Evita fainted in public and underwent surgery three days later. Although it was reported that she had undergone an appendectomy, she was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer.
Fainting continued through 1951 (including the evening after “Cabildo abierto”), with extreme weakness and severe vaginal bleeding.
By 1951, it had become evident that her health was rapidly deteriorating.
Although her diagnosis was withheld from her by Juan, she knew she was not well, and a bid for the vice-presidency was not practical. Only a few months after “the Renunciation”, Evita underwent a secret radical hysterectomy in an attempt to eradicate her advanced cervical cancer. In 2011, a Yale neurosurgeon, Dr. Daniel E. Nijensohn studied Evita’s skull x-rays and photographic evidence and said that Perón may have been given aprefrontal lobotomy in the last months of her life, “…to relieve the pain, agitation and anxiety she suffered in the final months of her illness.”