Rita Wilson, the 58-year-old actress wife of actor Tom Hanks, has undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
"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," Wilson said in a statement to People.
"I am recovering and most importantly, expected to make a full recovery," she said. "Why? Because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion."
Wilson continued to explain that she had previously been diagnosed with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), but had been closely monitored for years using mammograms and MRIs.
LCIS is an area of abnormal cells in the glands of the breast that produce milk. "In situ" means precancerous cells remain in the glands and have not spread to surrounding tissue. LCIS increases a woman's risk of developing invasive breast cancer.
Two recent biopsies discovered pleomorphic carcinoma in situ (PLCIS), but indicated the cells were still confined. A friend advised Wilson to get a second opinion.
"My gut told me that was the thing to do," she told People.
"A different pathologist found invasive lobular carcinoma. His diagnosis of cancer was confirmed by, yet, another pathologist."
Wilson is sharing her story to encourage patients to get second opinions. "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," she told People.
"Early diagnosis is the key," she said urging patients to trust their instincts.
"A second opinion is necessary and vital," Wilson wrote on Facebook. "Not just by another doctor but by another pathologist."
Wilson, who has appeared in films such as "Sleepless in Seattle" and "Runaway Bride," took leave from the Broadway play "Fish in the Dark" to deal with her illness, but plans to return on May 5.
"I'm doing well and getting stronger every day," Wilson said on Facebook.
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