Taylor Swift and Rita Wilson Share Stories to Encourage Early Detection

Singer Taylor Swift and actress Rita Wilson both shared some difficult and personal news – both have been recently affected by cancer. Wilson had a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer, and Swift’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. Both women used their announcements to encourage others to get screened.

Swift posted this message on her Tumblr account to announce her mother’s diagnosis:

“For Christmas this year, I asked my mom that one of her gifts to me be her going to the doctor to get screened for any health issues, just to ease some worries of mine. She agreed, and went in to get checked… The results came in, and I’m saddened to tell you that my mom has been diagnosed with cancer… She wanted you to know because your parents may be too busy juggling everything they’ve got going on to go to the doctor, and maybe you reminding them to go get checked for cancer could possibly lead to an early diagnosis and an easier battle… Or peace of mind in knowing that they’re healthy and there’s nothing to worry about… I hope and pray that you never get news like this.”

Wilson, in an exclusive interview with People, announced she was diagnosed with breast cancer and has undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

“Last week… 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… 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.”

When detected early, certain types of cancer are highly treatable. Get timely screenings and encourage loved ones to do the same.