Actress Rita Wilson made a huge announcement today, revealing to People magazine that she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She has already undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery after taking leave from performing Fish in the Dark on Broadway, to which she’ll return on May 5. She provided a detailed statement about her cancer and how she reached the diagnosis, and her biggest message to anyone with concerns about the disease: Get a second opinion.
Here is her full statement, which gets a bit specific, but it’s worth a read if you’ve ever had even the most minor doubts about a visit to the doctor. Trusting your gut and being vigilant and informed could really pay off, as it did for Wilson:
“Last week, with my husband by my side, and with the love and support of family and friends, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction for breast cancer after a diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma. I am recovering and most importantly, expected to make a full recovery. Why? Because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion.
“I have had an underlying condition of LCIS, (lobular carcinoma in situ) which has been vigilantly monitored through yearly mammograms and breast MRIs. Recently, after two surgical breast biopsies, PLCIS (pleomorphic carcinoma in situ) was discovered. I mention this because there is much unknown about PLCIS and it is often found alongside DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). I was relieved when the pathology showed no cancer.
“However, a friend who had had breast cancer suggested I get a second opinion on my pathology and my gut told me that was the thing to do. A different pathologist found invasive lobular carcinoma. His diagnosis of cancer was confirmed by, yet, another pathologist. I share this to educate others that a second opinion is critical to your health. You have nothing to lose if both opinions match up for the good, and everything to gain if something that was missed is found, which does happen. Early diagnosis is key.
If Wilson is planning to return to performing live theater as soon as May 5, it’s a very good sign that she’s doing extremely well. Her awesome husband is surely thrilled, as well.