Actress Rita Wilson announced Tuesday that she has breast cancer, and has had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
In a statement released to People, Wilson revealed her diagnosis and recent surgery, and explained that she is "expected to make a full recovery ... Because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion." Wilson has an underlying condition known as LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ) which puts her at high risk for cancer, and had undergone regular screenings for the disease.
A recent biopsy revealed an irregularity known as PLCIS (pleomorphic carcinoma in situ), and though her pathology showed no cancer, the actress was encouraged by a friend to seek out a second opinion from another pathologist. Wilson did, and her cancer was discovered; a third pathologist confirmed the diagnosis, and she had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery last week.
"I share this to educate others that a second opinion is critical to your health," Wilson's statement 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 thanked her husband, Tom Hanks, as well as family, friends, and doctors, and said she is "getting better every day and look[ing] forward to renewed health." She was scheduled to appear in the Broadway play "Fish in the Dark," but has taken a leave of absence from that project until May 5 while she recovers from surgery.
Wilson is the latest female celebrity to share personal health information with the public in the hopes of raising awareness. Angelina Jolie famously spoke out about her decision to have a preventive double mastectomy and preventive surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes in order to reduce her risk of cancer.
Photo credit: Getty Images