Olivia Newton-John has opened up about her cancer journey in a moving new video, describing the moment she knew something was wrong. The Grease star shared the video on Tuesday to mark the launch of her new Olivia Newton-John Foundation.
“I am probably one of those people who’s living beyond cancer, living beyond probably what people expected to happen,” the 72-year-old said. “I knew immediately that something was wrong.
“I had a mammogram and the mammogram was benign, and then I had a needle biopsy that also was benign. And I don’t say this to scare women, but you have to just trust your instincts. I felt something was wrong and when I was with my surgeon we decided that he would do a surgical biopsy.”
She added: “He told me what was going on, that I had breast cancer in my right breast and that he would need to operate to remove it and he would send me to an oncologist. All [of] this was overwhelming. It was a feeling of dread and terror of the unknown.”
She added: “I made a decision that I was going to be okay, I had to believe I was going to be okay. That my daughter was the most important thing in my life and that I had to be okay for her. You have to follow your own heart and your own instincts when it comes to your cancer treatment and your cancer journey.”
The new foundation is “committed to realising a world beyond cancer”, according to its website and Olivia said they will work to fund the discovery of kind treatments, as well as more effective ways to prevent, treat and cure cancer.
Olivia was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, resulting a partial mastectomy and chemotherapy. She then went into remission until 2013 when the cancer returned, with the actress undergoing another round of treatment. However the star was diagnosed once again in 2017 after a tumour was located in her lower spine.
In January she updated fans on her health, revealing her tumours had decreased in size and crediting the use of medicinal cannabis and natural therapies for the unexpected turnaround.
“When people hear metastatic breast cancer or cancer there’s still this stigma that people don’t believe that you can recover, well you can,” Olivia said. “There are ways. I know lots of people who have been given really terrible diagnoses who have done really well with the right treatment and they’re not always chemo and radiation either.”