The Parent Trap star was diagnosed with cancer on her birthday in 2008 and embarked on a course of chemotherapy, but after just three sessions she felt too weak and exhausted to continue.
She tells Britain’s Daily Mirror, “It made me feel awful. I was more frightened of the chemo than the cancer. I could feel it draining me and killing me. I felt I was dying. I thought how can I fight something if I feel so ghastly?
“I want to be able to take charge and be involved in this battle. It was about the quality of my life.”
The 66 year old has since been given the all-clear, and she puts her recovery down to alternative healing methods, including a healthy diet, exercise and meditation.
She adds, “I always say a tremendous amount of healing is in your own hands. What you can do to boost your immune system, and what you can do to keep your mind, body and soul healthy and positive is important.
“It’s a big decision. Most other routes are not endorsed – they offer surgery and chemo and radiotherapy and that’s it.
“When you step off that, you’re on your own because all those other things, they’d just say were a waste of time. So you have to decide what route you’re going to take and be prepared to find something you can believe in 100 per cent. If that’s chemotherapy, do it, and don’t be afraid. Be supportive mentally. Visualise things going in there and killing off all the little f**kers. I started with chemo and then stopped. I didn’t do the radiotherapy.
“And I’m not saying it is what everyone should do, all I know is that’s what felt right for me. There are some fantastic, brilliant alternative doctors out there. It doesn’t make sense that there is only one way of dealing with cancer.”