Rita Wilson is sharing some difficult and very personal news: she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and has undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, the actress, 58, reveals the diagnosis and how she feels “blessed” to have the love and support of her husband, Tom Hanks, friends, family and the doctors who saved her life.
“I have taken a leave from the play Fish in the Dark to deal with a personal health issue,” reveals Wilson, who will return to the Broadway play on May 5. “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. Why? Because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion.
“I have had 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.
“However, 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.
“I feel 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. I am getting better every day and look forward to renewed health.
“I hope this will encourage others to get a second opinion and to trust their instincts if something doesn’t ‘feel’ right.”
For more information, please go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation website at BCRFcure.org.