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The actress sadly passed away this week – but the cancer that killed her was first missed during a mammogram.
Olivia Newton-John sadly passed away on Monday at the age of 73.
Tributes have poured in for the actress, best known for her iconic portrayal of Sandy in Greece. She died of breast cancer after a thirty-year battle.
Two years ago, she shared a poignant message about the various symptoms of breast cancer and, similarly, the importance of checking your breasts for lumps. She encouraged fans to always trust your gut when it comes to your health, revealing that her first mammogram didn’t actually detect the breast cancer she would eventually die from.
After her passing, it serves as an even more important reminder to always trust your instincts if you don’t feel quite right.
Newton-John first found out she had breast cancer back in 1992, but went on to beat the disease. Unfortunately, she discovered she had breast cancer again in 2017.
However, the first mammogram from 2017 detected no abnormalities, even though the cancer was present.
Encouraging women to “trust their instincts,” she said shared how she knew something wasn’t right. “I knew right away that something was wrong. I did a mammogram and the mammogram was benign and then I did a needle biopsy which was also benign,” she said Prevention journal. “And I’m not saying this to scare women, you just have to trust your instincts.”
“I felt something was wrong, and when I was with my surgeon, we decided he would do a surgical biopsy,” she said.
When they did the biopsy, they discovered cancer in her right breast.
Newton-John went on to become a figurehead for cancer campaigns, setting up her own Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Center and supporting cancer patients, survivors and the families of those affected.
Many fans have taken to social media to share their sadness, with one Twitter user sharing: “Unbelievably sad for Dame Olivia Newton-John. The amount she did for breast cancer awareness was incredible! Thank you and rest in peace Lady Olivia.”
“For those of us affected by the insidious disease of breast cancer – as patients, survivors or loved ones – Olivia Newton-John is heroic. She used her platform to raise awareness and show us how to LIVE even in the midst of immense suffering,” added another.
Remember to be attuned to your overall health and well-being, regularly check your breasts for lumps and always see a doctor if you suspect something may be wrong.