Actress Rita Wilson was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, she confirmed on Tuesday morning. She said she’s “getting better every day” and is expected to make a full recovery.
Wilson, 58, shared the news in an extensive statement with People magazine, revealing that this is why she’s taking a medical leave from Larry David’s Broadway play “Fish in the Dark.” She discussed her diagnosis in detail and urged others to get frequent check-ups for early detection, along with seeking second opinions from doctors.
“I am recovering and most importantly, expected to make a full recovery,” Wilson wrote. “Why? Because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion.”
Wilson, known for movies from “Sleepless in Seattle” to “It’s Complicated,” has been most recently seen on TV as a savvy attorney on CBS legal drama “The Good Wife” and as Marnie’s prickly mom on HBO’s “Girls.” She’s been married to Tom Hanks for 26 years, and the two are well-known as one of the more beloved longtime Hollywood couples.
Wilson said she has “vigilantly monitored” her health with mammograms and MRIs after knowing she had an “underlying condition of LCIS, (lobular carcinoma in situ).” When a recent breast biopsy revealed PLCIS (pleomorphic carcinoma in situ), initial tests showed that it was not cancerous.
But Wilson had second thoughts. “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,” she wrote. When she went to two other pathologists, both confirmed a cancer diagnosis.
“I share this to educate others that a second opinion is critical to your health,” she said. “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.”
Wilson is the second celebrity in a week to do a public service announcement for early cancer detection. Last week, Taylor Swift revealed that her mother had recently been diagnosed with cancer, and urged her fans to remind their parents about getting screened. When a celebrity goes public about a health issue, public health officials have said, more people tend to get checked out.
Now, Wilson says she looks forward to “renewed health” and that she feels “blessed to have a loving, supportive husband, family, friends and doctors and that I am the beneficiary of advances in the field of breast cancer and reconstruction.”
In addition, she added, “I hope this will encourage others to get a second opinion and to trust their instincts if something doesn’t ‘feel’ right.”