Olivia Newton-John Becomes MMJ Advocate In Breast Cancer Battle
Twenty five years after her first battle with breast cancer, Olivia Newton-John is now contending with a second diagnosis. The Grease star told The Sunday Telegraph that medical cannabis has been an integral part of her cancer treatment.
The breast cancer research advocate—who founded her own cancer research center in her native Melbourne in 2012—announced in May that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer that had metastasized to the sacrum, a bone at the base of the spine. Turns out her debilitating back pain was actually cancer.
The 68-year-old entertainer had initially postponed part of her tour because of the pain—but said she knew deep down that it could be more than that. “I kind of felt innately that something wasn’t right, this pain had been going on for a long time,” she recently told The Sunday Telegraph.
Medical cannabis has been helping her through her cancer battle, she told the Telegraph—it’s part of a comprehensive treatment regimen she developed with the help of her doctors, natural therapists, and the medical team at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre.
“I use medical cannabis, which is really important to pain and healing,” Newton-John told The Sunday Telegraph. “I will do what I can to encourage it. It’s an important part of treatment, and it should be available.”
Having been demonized for generations, the otherwise benign herb is finally getting credit for its medical value. “It’s a plant that has been maligned for so long, and has so many abilities to heal,” she said.
As a resident of California, the British-born Australian pop star is able to access cannabis for both medical and now recreational use. California was one of four states where voters approved recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older last November.
Australia approved medical cannabis last fall—but it’s reportedly still a long and arduous process for patients in need of the relief that it offers.
Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. In a new interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes, she opened up about having to go through it again. “Of course it’s scary, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t scary, but I intend to be healthy,” she told Karl Stefanovic.
Lucky for her, she’ll likely never run out. Not only does she live in California, one of the most pot-friendly states in the U.S., her daughter Chloe Lattanzi has a cannabis farm in Oregon which she shares with her partner James Driskill.