Beloved Australian actress Olivia Newton-John is battling cancer for the third time and has given fans an update on her cancer journey at a cancer conference in Melbourne.
During the chat on Monday, the Grease star looked healthy and explained that she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and intended to keep it a secret but decided to talk about it openly to protect her family and so it would be easier for her to deal with. She also revealed that she ended up as a patient in the hospital named after her last year after she was diagnosed with cancer for a third time in 2017.
Fans will recall the Xanadu star underwent a partial mastectomy, chemotherapy and breast reconstruction to beat the disease when she was first diagnosed. The cancer re-appeared in 2013 and then again four years later.
“I ended up in the hospital with my name on it, which was quite an amazing achievement. I must have planned it somehow,” she explained. “I got to be undercover boss because I didn’t really want anyone to know I was there, I didn’t want to draw attention, I didn’t want press bothering anybody in the building.”
The singer said she wore a surgical mask and beanie to disguise her true identity when walking around the hospital but got to experience all the hard work she and others had put into the centre over the years. She also said that in addition to immunology, cannabis and plant-medicine has been a big win for cancer research.
The star has been open in the past about using medicinal cannabis to help treat and relieve the pain caused by her cancer and said she dreamed of doing more research into natural medicines that have been “a bigger healer” for her. She’s previously described cannabis as a “healing plant” and she said using it isn’t exactly what people typically envision.
For Olivia, it’s not about getting stoned but cannabis helps her manage symptoms that came with a cancer diagnosis. She said: “Along with my other treatments, the cannabis really helped me. I was able to wean myself off the morphine with cannabis, which is a safe way to do it. You don’t die from cannabis.”
She also said cannabis had the potential to help people manage a lot of illnesses and said she had a lot of belief in the drug. Elsewhere in the chat, the actress said the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre was working on a new study to investigate cannabis’ impact on sleep and pain and said it would help a lot of people.
She explained: “The proof is in the pudding and I’m the pudding.”
Olivia also said that it’s important for famous faces to be open about their cancer diagnosis and told the audience: “it draws attention to the fact that no one remains untouched by cancer. Whether you’re a celebrity or not a celebrity, there’s no rules and no laws.”
Meanwhile, her Grease co-star Didi Conn appeared on This Morning in the UK on Monday and gave fans an update on how Olivia’s health is. Didi – who played beauty school dropout Frenchy in the hit musical – explained: “The best news I heard is Olivia Newton-John is doing beautifully.
“Her spirit shines. I just love her. Her husband is this miracle maker of growing different herbs and the cannabis is really working for her pain. He’s gorgeous and they’re in love and love always heals.”