CBSN

Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted To Cause

Like her legendary character Sandy in "Grease," singer/actress Olivia Newton-John really became a pink lady, but this time it's for the fight against breast cancer.

As a breast cancer survivor and now a major breast cancer crusader, Newton-John sat down with Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez and discussed her battle with breast cancer as well as her new CD, "A Celebration In Song: Olivia Newton-John & Friends," which includes duets with Richard Marx, Keith Urban and Barry Gibb, among others.

"It's wonderful. All of these people gave their time to raise money for our cancer wellness center in Australia. Some of them are friends and are very generous of their time," said Newton-John, who just flew in from Australia.

Newton-John introduced a breast self-examination kit to encourage women to do regular breast self-exams.

She emphasized that early detection is key and that if any woman should find a lump, she should get it checked out immediately. Curves will be giving out the breast self-examination kits for free during the month of October.

"It's a really pretty medical advice. You can examine yourself. You don't have to be in the shower, you can do it lying down on your bed. I'm very excited because we've patented it and this month they (Curves) will give a way a million of them," Newton-John said.

Newton-John is so serious about the cause that she spearheaded the "Great Walk to Beijing 2008" along the Great Wall of China. She trekked 142 miles, over 21 days, in what Rodriguez referred to as "the ultimate breast cancer walk."

"It was amazing. It was before the Olympics and took four years to plan. I had breast cancer survivors from all over the world. I had Olympians, athletes and celebrities that came with me. It was an incredible journey. I liken it to the cancer journey. You didn't know what you were facing but it was an amazing challenge. We made it," she said.

Sixteen years ago, Newton-John found a lump in her breast.

"Early detection for me was what saved my life. I found a lump and had it checked out. The mammogram was negative. I did a needle biopsy which was also negative. If I hadn't found it and encouraged my physician, maybe I wouldn't be so lucky. I say to women, yes, of course, have a checkup but examine yourself regularly. It's important," Newton-John urged.

It's has also been 30 years since "Grease," when Newton-John took the world by storm with her portrayal of Sandy.

When Newton-John sees herself singing "You're The One That I Want" alongside John Travolta, she still can't believe it.

"It's like I remember doing it and I remember how worried I was about it. You worry how you look and everything. You're now going what was I thinking?"

"You look so great," Rodriguez said.