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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW: Eight Is Enough Star Talks About Cancer Struggle

Feb. 19 2010, Published 5:20 a.m. ET

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Former child star Connie Newton Needham is successfully battling ovarian cancer and exclusively opened up to about the disease, what she is doing to help with early detection and her favorite times on the hit show Eight Is Enough.

Speaking for the first time publicly about her cancer, Connie had a darling short hair cut, but revealed that it was a wig and said has lost all of her hair as a result of her battle.

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“I was diagnosed in May,” Connie said in her exclusive interview at Gendarmerie, a trendy spa in West Hollywood, and added her treatment has been successful and the cancer was not in her lymph nodes. “I’ve been doing great with it.”

She was diagnosed with “Stage 3 cancer so there is only one more and it’s pretty bad,” she told Connie has been trying to raise awareness for early detection and has been treated by the Women’s Cancer Research Foundation.

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Remembering how difficult it was to tell her two daughters about her cancer diagnosis, Kimberly, 25, and Taylor, 19, Connie said “Taylor took it much better.”

She had a full hysterectomy, and was worried that would be a problem in her romantic relationship. But Connie told “I have a fabulous boyfriend, bless his heart, and he stayed right with me.”

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Early detection is important in the treatment of ovarian cancer, and Connie remembered her symptoms. “I was having a lot of bloating and I started having a little difficulty breathing to the point that I thought I had a lung infection.” When the doctor told her she had cancer she was surprised. “I went into that weird sort of shock where everything shuts down and you don’t hear anything else,” she said.

Beloved as Elizabeth on Eight is Enough, Connie is having a reunion with Dick Van Patten and a few other stars from the show on the Today Show on March 1.

Connie’s advice for early detection to fight ovarian cancer is: “Pay close attention to your body and don’t assume things are normal.”

Special thanks to Topper and our friends at Gendarmerie for allowing us to use their spa for our interview.



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