Rita Wilson Opens Up About Breast Cancer, Encourages Second Opinions

| April 14, 2015

Perhaps the general public took little notice of the recent issues raised in a published JAMA study discussed here previously despite its mentions in the popular press and on PBS. Despite its limitations, I think the study raised the issue of subjectivity in breast biopsies that is well-known as it is in other organ systems for pre-neoplastic vs. neoplastic conditions. One of the messages that came out of that recent publication was the need for some form of second opinion in questionable cases.  While the general public may not have taken much notice about a scientific publication, recent news from a well-known star may change that now.  Recently Rita Wilson announced her diagnosis of breast cancer and how her original diagnosis of lobular carcinoma in-situ (LCIS) was thought, at least in part to be, invasive lobular carcinoma, without knowing all the details.  The decision affected how she was going to manage her disease and recently discussed it with People magazine.

Mashable had short article that mentions “Rita Wilson has revealed that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and recently underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.”

The 58-year-old actress has an underlying condition of LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ), she explained in a statement to People. While two surgical breast biopsies did not show signs of cancer, she added, a second opinion from another pathologist found 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,” Wilson 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.”

How will affect the practice of surgical pathology with regard to breast biopsies and do you think there is a need for more over-reads in pathology, particularly with breast pathology? Can digital pathology enable this potentially new paradigm for patients and providers alike?

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Category: Advocacy, Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Laboratories, Histology, Laboratory Compliance, Microscopy, Patient Advocacy

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