Olivia Newton-John Opts For Natural Treatments In Breast Cancer Fight
Twenty five years after first being diagnosed with breast cancer, Olivia Newton-John is now facing the disease a second time — and using many of the tools she used the first time to beat it.
While the entertainer, 68, is undergoing a short course of photon radiation therapy, she’s also supplementing her treatment for metastatic breast cancer that’s spread to her sacrum with natural wellness therapies.
So what exactly do these natural therapies entail? The star — who lent her name and helped raise funds to open Melbourne’s Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in 2012 — is keeping exact details of her treatment and prognosis private for the time being, but she opened up last fall about the different activities she took on after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992.
“To create this wellness center where people who are going through cancer could go and do the things I had done when I had breast cancer was a big passion for me,” the Grease star told PEOPLE last October. “I did massage and meditation and yoga … all the things that would help heal me and keep my spirit positive.”
According to Dr. Jonathan Cebon, who is the medical director at the center, the hospital offers mainstream cancer therapy — including surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and more — but also allows patients to participate in a wellness program that Newton-John is “very passionate about.”
“The wellness program provides supportive care to our patients, including psychological and emotional support,” Cebon tells PEOPLE exclusively. “[For example], we have massage, which often people find very helpful just in terms of symptom relief and getting them to relax. Acupuncture [helps] women who have breast cancer and have mobility problems involving the shoulder.”
The ONJ Cancer and Wellness Centre doesn’t offer alternative therapy (such as herbal therapies or supplements) and the wellness therapies are “really on a needs basis,” adds Cebon. “Each patient is discussed at a multi-disciplinary meeting and we’ll map out their standard cancer treatment, so that’s the evidence-based treatment. If they would like or it’s felt they would benefit from additional complementary therapies such as meditation, it’s tailored but also very much based on patients’ own wishes.”
In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, Newton-John said she is “totally confident” as she focuses on her health for the next few months. “I am feeling good and enjoying total support from my family and friends, along with a team of wellness and medical practitioners.”
Added her husband, John Easterling: “We both have the same unshakable belief that she’s going to have a wonderful success story. We’re not trying to be positive. We have an absolute knowingness that we can turn this around.”