Rita Wilson is the latest star to come forward with some difficult news.
In the wake of megastars like Angelina Jolie, who wrote beautiful op-ed pieces chronicling her battle against breast cancer, Wilson has shared with People magazine that she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and has undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
The actress and wife of Tom Hanks said, “I have taken a leave from the play Fish in the Dark to deal with a personal health issue. 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.”
While that is brave to announce and we are glad to hear she is supposed to fully recover, the most important part of what she said came next. “Why [am I expected to make a full recovery]? Because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion,” she said.
She explained, “I have 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.”
But it was a friend who suggested she get a second opinion that seems to have made, literally, all the difference in the world.
“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 if found, which does happen.”
These are monumental words that must be repeated: a second opinion is critical to your health. It doesn’t mean you don’t trust your doctor. Quite honestly, it has nothing to do with your doctor. It has everything to do with you and your personal health.
Then she drove it home, saying, “Early diagnosis is key. I hope this will encourage others to get a second opinion and to trust their instincts if something doesn’t ‘feel’ right.”
Trust your gut people and get a second opinion.
We are glad to hear she is expected to make a full recovery and hope this will help some people make smart decisions about their health.