Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson (Getty Images)
Last December, Rita Wilson found out she had breast cancer at 53. She’s now completely in remission, but in a new interview, her husband, Tom Hanks, talks about a surprising part of his family’s crisis that left him angry.
“There’s a predatory philosophy that happens where people find out that you have a certain illness, particularly cancer, and they will try and make money off of you, pushing procedures that might have a degree of science to them and there are others that are absolute quacks just trying to make money," Hanks said in an interview with Australian news outlet news.com.au.
In April of this year, Wilson announced that she was taking a leave of absence from Fish in the Dark after she underwent a double mastectomy.
At the time, Wilson said she was going public to encourage women to be vigilant about their health: "I share this to educate others that a second opinion is critical to your health,” Wilson, who was initially mis-diagnosed, 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.”
However, in going public, Tom Hanks says Wilson exposed herself to the Internet’s snake oil salesmen peddling worthless remedies.
“You should Google the word [cancer],” Hanks says. “Everything from, ‘You must eat peach pits’ to ‘Go to this clinic in Bolivia and you’ll be cured!’ will come up. S–t goes on like that and it’s astounding to me. It all adds to the difficulty, and we are lucky we can afford good medical care, but there are people who are dealing and selling in false hopes.”
Rita Wilson at the 2015 Tony Awards, her first post-mastectomy red carpet (Getty Images)
In June, presenting at the Tony Awards, Wilson announced that she was cancer-free. “I feel great,” she said at the time. “When you do Broadway, you have a family there and one at home as well. I had so much love through the process. I’m very thankful.”
Hanks says he’s in awe of his wife’s “courage.” “All I can say is God bless my wife and God bless her courage.”