After announcing that she is battling breast cancer for the third time, actress Olivia Newton-John is giving fans an update on her health. On Sunday’s episode of CBS This Morning, the 71-year-old Grease star spoke candidly about her health, admitting that although being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer two years ago, she continues to have a positive outlook on life.
“I don’t discuss prognosis, because if they give you a percentage or ‘this many women get this and live this long,’ you can create that and make it happen,” she told Gayle King. “It’s almost like — I think I know what the statistics are. And if, and, but I put them away. But I’m gonna live longer than that. I’ve made that decision. And I don’t buy into the statistics ‘cause I think they can make you really nervous.”
The actress added that she “tries not to” think about death,” and instead chooses to focus on the positives in her life.
“It’s a decision, how you choose to feel about something. So I’ve chosen that path,” she told King. “I’m happy. I’m lucky. I’m grateful. I have much to live for, and I intend to keep doing it.”
Newton-John, who was first diagnosed in 1992, went on to explain that her diagnosis has allowed her to live her life to fullest, something she now considers to be part of her healing process.
“Denial is really healthy,“ she joked. “t was consuming by day, and after some time I went, ‘You know what? I don’t know what my time is, but I need to enjoy my life, so I’m gonna eat a cookie if I want it and I’m gonna have a cup of tea if I want it, and I want to have a little bit of wine then I’m gonna do that.’ “
“The joy of life and every-day living has to be a part of that healing process as well,” she added.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and undergoing a partial mastectomy, nine months of chemotherapy, and a breast reconstruction, Newton-John was again diagnosed in 2013. In May 2017, doctors diagnosed Newton-John with stage 4 breast cancer that had metastasized to the sacrum, a diagnosis that she publicly revealed in September of 2018, at the time stating that she is “one of millions in this fight…in this journey.”
Amid her battle, the actress, author, and singer, who has since retired from performing, has founded the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia, which provides “world-leading treatment complemented by wellness programs, clinical trials and breakthrough research.”