In 1990, Argerich was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. After treatment, the cancer went into remission, but there was a reoccurrence in 1995, eventually metastasizing to her lungs and lymph nodes. Following aggressive treatment at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, which included the removal of part of her lung and use of an experimental vaccine, Argerich's cancer went into remission again. In gratitude, Argerich performed a Carnegie Hall recital benefiting the Institute. Once a heavy cigarette smoker, Argerich quit smoking following her treatment. As of 2010, Argerich remains cancer-free.
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