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Selena Gomez says she is currently "very healthy" amid her battle with lupus, which she revealed two months ago and which she had long kept secret. But she still isn't that comfortable about the attention she's received because of it.
The 23-year-old pop star had revealed her diagnosis just before the release of her new album Revival, adding that she had kept quiet about her disease for three years and had undergone chemotherapy to treat it.
"It has been overwhelming and the response has been very supportive, which is nice—but it still makes me a little uncomfortable," Gomez told Billboard in comments published on Thursday and in its Dec. 12 issue. "I waited for the right time to talk about it because I am in a great place and I'm very healthy. I'm not trying to be loud about it: It was time to use my platform to help."
In late 2013 and early 2014, Gomez had kept out of the spotlight for a while as she battled lupus complications. She spent two weeks at a treatment center, which sparked rumors she had entered rehab for substance addiction.
"I wanted so badly to say, 'You guys have no idea. I'm in chemotherapy. You're assholes,'" the singer told Billboard in October. "I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again."
Lupus, an autoimmune disease that flares up from time to time, is incurable and spurs symptoms such as chronic fatigue, fever, joint pain, rashes and chest pain. The ailment can be controlled. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, common treatments including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids and other medications—in select cases, Cytoxan, a chemotherapy commonly used to treat cancer, which is used as an immunosuppressant in lupus patients.
Other celebrities who have been diagnosed with lupus include Nick Cannon, who told E! News he fights the accompanying fatigue by keeping busy, healthy and active.
"So my concept is, the more that I go and the more that I push and I stay on that regimen...it kinda keeps me going so my body doesn't get the opportunity to kinda be like, 'Oh, I'm tired,'" he said.
Toni Braxton has also battled lupus complications, while Lady Gaga told Larry King in 2010 she had "tested borderline positive for the disease."