Olivia Newton-John is battling breast cancer for the second time. The Australian singer recently announced she is postponing her U.S. and Canadian tour, after receiving a scary diagnosis that her cancer has returned and spread to another part of her body.
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In a statement shared on her Facebook page, the 68-year-old revealed that the back pain that forced her to postpone the first part of her concert tour earlier this month was actually breast cancer that “has metastasized to the sacrum.”
The singer previously battled breast cancer in 1992, undergoing chemotherapy and a modified radical mastectomy before doctors told her she was cancer-free. She has since become an advocate for breast cancer awareness and even has a cancer center named after her in Australia.
Despite the recurrence, she is confident about winning this latest battle. “In addition to natural wellness therapies, Olivia will complete a short course of photon radiation therapy and is confident she will be back later in the year, better than ever, to celebrate her shows,” a spokesperson states.
According to a 2013 study, very late relapse (after 12 years) is quite uncommon in breast cancer survivors like Newton-John, but it is possible — which is why lifetime follow-ups are so important. Metastatic breast cancer, cancer that has spread, is also known as stage IV cancer, considered to be the most advanced stage. The American Cancer Society maintains that the five-year survival rate of stage IV cancer is 22 percent.
Having said that, the American Cancer Society clarifies that many people live far longer than the five year survival rate, which is based on the percentage of people who live at least five years after their diagnosis.
"For example, a 5-year survival rate of 90% means that an estimated 90 out of 100 people who have that cancer are still alive 5 years after being diagnosed," states the ACS.
Newton-John's daughter Chloe Lattanzi says her mother will be using cannabis as part of her treatment.
"I want to thank all of you for your love and support. My mom and best friend is going to be fine!" says Chloe, who owns a legal marijuana farm in Oregon. "She will be using medicine that I often talk about. CBD oil! (Cannabis has scientifically proven properties to inhibit cancer cell growth) and other natural healing remedies plus modern medicine to beat this. Cancer is the disease of our generation and it is part of my and my mother's quest to beat this insidious monster. We both love you all, and anyone fighting this disease you can beat it. Look for natural remedies as well as what modern medicine can offer. My mom is so powerful she will beat this in no time. All my love to you. And I wish you health wealth and happiness."
What Do YOU Think?
Are you a breast cancer survivor? How would you handle Olivia Newton-John’s diagnosis if you were her? Do you have any advice for women who suffer from breast cancer relapse?