SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John, most well-known for her role as Sandy Olsson in “Grease,” died Monday at the age of 73. The announcement, made on her Facebook page, Newton-John died peacefully in her Southern California home.
Her battle with breast cancer is well known, as she was very vocal about her journey.
She first shared the news that her cancer was missed in 1992, when tests came back negative. It was only through her insistence that something was wrong and demanding further testing that it was actually diagnosed. That treatment included a mastectomy and chemotherapy, and she was in remission until 2013. The cancer then spread to her shoulder, then in 2017, to her spine and bones.
“It’s not unusual,” explains Dr. Kristi Funk, with the Pink Lotus Breast Center, who explains that over 25% of breast cancers diagnosed in early stages that are treated end up metastasizing to other parts of the body. “What is amazing,” she explains, “is that Olivia Newton-John was able to live so many years, and be such a great spokesperson for breast cancer awareness and treatment.
Newton-John spoke candidly about her use of Cannabis oil, to treat the intense pain from cancer bone lesions. Her daughter, Chloe Rose Lattanzi, has a marijuana farm in the Northeast.
“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” it was written on her Facebook page. “Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer.”
Indeed, one of the things Dr. Funk and others in the field see as beneficial for cancer patients is a plant-based diet. Other behaviors that can make a difference include maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, limiting alcohol consumption and staying up to date on screenings with your doctor.