Lisa Lisa, '80s pop star, hid breast cancer while touring: 'It was hard to talk about back then'

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At the height of her stardom, Lisa Lisa was dealing with a personal health scare. 

During an episode of “The Tamron Hall Show” on Thursday, the ’80s pop singer opened up about her decision to hide her breast cancer diagnosis while on tour. 

“It was hard to talk about back then,” the singer, 57, said “It was hard, there was no one to speak on it … The guys used to ask me, ‘Are you gaining weight? Are you pregnant?’ I was like, ‘No I’m going through chemo.’ No one knew, I had to hide it basically, my mom didn’t even know.” 

OLIVIA MUNN DISGUISES ‘BATTLE WOUNDS’ FROM DOUBLE MASTECTOMY: ‘MAKES ME A LITTLE SAD’

Lisa Lisa recalled the moment she realized something wasn’t quite right. 

“I was just checking myself out one day and I was like ‘Wow, what are these bruises?’ And I said I have to go get checked,” she continued. “So on a stop during a nine-month tour, I went and got checked and my oncologist said you have ductal carcinoma.” 

According to John Hopkins Medicine, invasive ductal carcinoma is cancer (carcinoma) that happens when abnormal cells growing in the lining of the milk ducts change and invade breast tissue beyond the walls of the duct. The cancer cells can spread and break into the lymph nodes or bloodstream, where they can travel to other organs and areas in the body, resulting in metastatic breast cancer.

At that point in her career, the “Can You Feel the Beat” singer made the brave decision to undergo chemotherapy. 

“It was difficult,” she said. “It was really, really hard. I didn’t know what to do, who to speak to. My doctor was like, ‘You should not be on tour,’ and I said, ‘I have to work because I have bills to pay.’”

Lisa Lisa isn’t the only star who’s recently come forward with a cancer diagnosis. 

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In March, Olivia Munn revealed she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Actress Olivia Munn wears silky taupe dress on red carpet.

The 43-year-old actress has been battling the disease since April 2023. Munn shared photos along with details of her ongoing fight against breast cancer on her Instagram. She explained that she received an MRI after her doctor found her Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Score to be 37%. The MRI found Luminal B cancer, “an aggressive, fast moving cancer,” in both breasts.

“In February of 2023, in an effort to be proactive about my health, I took a genetic test that checks you for 90 different cancer genes,” Munn wrote on Instagram at the time. “I tested negative for all, including BRCA (the most well-known breast cancer gene). My sister Sara had just tested negative as well. We called each other and high-fived over the phone. That same winter I also had a normal mammogram.

“Two months later I was diagnosed with breast cancer.”

The actress decided to keep her diagnosis private in order to “get through some of the hardest parts” before sharing with her fans.

“I’ve tended to let people see me when I have the energy, when I can get dressed and get out of the house, when I can take my baby boy to the park,” she explained. “I’ve kept the diagnosis and the worry and the recovery and the pain medicine and the paper gowns private.”

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