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Olivia Newton-John visits UK for health campaign

Actress offers support to breast cancer appeal

January 19, 2009
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Olivia Newton-John is almost as well known for being a committed health campaigner as she is for her unforgettable role in Grease.And now the actress - who has battled breast cancer - has flown into Britain with new husband John Easterling, to find out about the latest research into the disease while launching Addenbrooke's Hospital's Pink Rose Valentine Appeal.

Someone in the world is diagnosed with breast cancer every 30 seconds, but scientists at the Cambridge Breast Cancer Research Unit - whose work will be supported by funds from the appeal - are at the forefront of the battle against the disease.

Their latest developments include isolating rare cells to avoid invasive tests for the detection and monitoring of cancer - which could also help understand how the disease spreads - and working on new ways of imaging that will assist with early diagnosis, as well as on developing drugs to treat aggressive breast cancer.

Professor Carlos Caldas, who runs the Breast Cancer Research Unit, says: “The Pink Rose Valentine’s Appeal will support these programmes and will create research opportunities for the breast cancer doctors of the future – and with the help of the donations, we can make a significant difference to how we treat and prevent this disease.”

Director of funding for the appeal Peter Dalton adds: “The appeal asks people to ‘give a little love’ both on Valentine’s Day and throughout the year to their loved ones and to our good cause. "We’d like supporters to host a dinner, drinks or even a singles night for friends and family, and to ask their guests to make a donation to the cause."

Along with Stephen Fry, Joan Collins and Rachel Weisz, Olivia has added further support to the appeal with an electronic Valentine's card, details of which can be found at "It's everyone's nightmare to hear that you have cancer, but I got through it," Olivia said at the launch of the appeal. "I think a positive attitude is extremely important. It's not a death sentence any more, and with early detection you have a much better chance of survival."

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