I had my clinical rotation today for public health, so I was up pretty early. Scrolling through online news this morning, I saw the sad news that actress Rita Wilson was diagnosed with breast cancer (invasive lobular carcinoma) and underwent a double mastectomy and reconstruction. Thankfully, she is expected to completely recover and her husband, Tom Hanks, has been at her side (yay for amazing hubbies).
Rita was very brave and decided to go public with her breast cancer diagnosis. The most important thing about her announcement was her story about how she got diagnosed. Rita had a condition (lobular carcinoma in situ) requiring her to have annual mammograms and breast MRIs. She had two breast biopsies performed, and the results showed no cancer. At this point, most people would drink a glass of champagne and call it a day. But, thankfully, Rita’s friend suggested she get a second opinion on the pathology results, and that is when her breast cancer was found. She got a third opinion on the pathology, which also showed breast cancer.
Had she not gotten multiple opinions, she may have lost her life. Rita’s message is very powerful, “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.” Read more here and please listen to Rita’s advice. Go for all of your cancer screenings, whether or not you are high risk. If your gut tells you something isn’t right, see your health practitioner.