Foundation fund

Houston oncologist discusses advances in breast cancer treatment

The singer and actress was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992.

HOUSTON — After a 30-year battle with breast cancer, Olivia Newton John died Aug. 8. She was 73 years old.

announcing his death, her husband wrote“Olivia has been a beacon of triumphs and hope for over 30 years, sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton Foundation Fund -John, dedicated to plant medicine and cancer research.”

RELATED: ‘Grease’ Star Olivia Newton-John Dead at 73

KHOU 11 digital anchor Brandi Smith spoke to an oncologist Dr. Jessica Jones from UTHealth Houston and Memorial Hermann on advances in breast cancer treatment, as well as the importance of prevention.

Watch Dr. Jones’ full interview in the video above.

BRANDI SMITH: Dr. Jones, I just want to start by asking you, what is your first reaction to hearing the news of Olivia Newton John’s death?

DR. JESSICA JONES: It’s just a huge loss. I think we all feel the pain of his loss as a community, for all of his fans, for everyone. But I also think it really speaks to the hope we have now that breast cancer can’t take our lives. And if you just look at her rich, long life while she had cancer, I think you can clearly see that we’ve made progress and we’ve made changes and it’s a great time to be taken care of. today.

SMITH: So we’re talking about this 30-year battle that Olivia Newton John had with breast cancer, starting with being diagnosed in ’92, then 2013 and then 2017, all in different parts of her body. What does this tell you about this disease?

DR. JONES: I think that says a lot about the progress of care that we have now in 2022, compared to what we knew in 1992. Now it’s unclear what Olivia Newton John’s initial treatment was, although she received a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. But we can all anticipate that she had an aggressive form of breast cancer. Because we know that even if we do everything right, there will be a subset of women in whom cancer can still come back. We are getting better at predicting who these women are, but to this day we are still not 100% sure.

RELATED: Health Matters: Breast Cancer Prevention

SMITH: Let’s talk about preventative care, because catching cancer early is so important. What advice would you give to women who have a history of breast cancer in their family?

DR. JONES: The US Prevention Task Force recommends that women start having regular mammograms starting at age 40. Additionally, women may benefit from additional services besides their mammogram, such as MRI screening or even medication, if they have a family history. breast cancer or other risk factors that put her at higher risk for breast cancer.

SMITH: Was there anything else you really wanted people to know going forward? There will be a lot of attention and focus on breast cancer after these headlines.

DR. JONES: If there’s one thing I want everyone to remember today, it’s that prevention is a cure, that we can stop breast cancer before it even starts. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. There are services and clinics in the Houston area that take care of women and men like you.