Stage and screen actress Rita Wilson announced on Tuesday that she has undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery following a diagnosis of breast cancer.
"Hi all," Wilson, 58, posted on her Facebook page. "There is some news I want to share with you in hopes that if you or any woman you know is dealing with this that a second opinion is necessary and vital. Not just by another doctor but by another pathologist. I'm doing well and getting stronger every day."
She then linked to People magazine, where she said in a statement, "I have taken a leave from the [Broadway] 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."
Wilson -- who has sons Chester and Truman with Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks, to whom she has been married since 1988 -- said she is scheduled to return May 5 to her originating role as Brenda Drexel, played in the interim by Glenne Headly.
"I have had an underlying condition of LCIS, (lobular carcinoma in situ) which has been vigilantly monitored through yearly mammograms and breast MRIs," Wilson told People. She added: "Recently, after two surgical breast biopsies, PLCIS (pleomorphic [lobular] 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."
According to BreastCancer.org, invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the second most common type of breast cancer after invasive ductal carcinoma (cancer that begins in the milk-carrying ducts and then spreads). PLCIS is made up of larger, more abnormal cells, than LCIS and mimics ductal carcinoma. It is sometimes treated in ways similar to DCIS.
Wilson further explained in her statement to the magazine that "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."
She stressed that, "I hope this will encourage others to get a second opinion and to trust their instincts if something doesn't 'feel' right."