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Selena Gomez: Why She Needed Chemotherapy To Treat Her Lupus — Doctor Speaks

Thu, October 8, 2015 6:04pm EDT by 14 Comments

Selena Gomez opened up about her struggles with being diagnosed with lupus, revealing she even underwent chemotherapy to fight it. An expert now EXCLUSIVELY explains to HollywoodLife.com why Selena used the cancer-killing treatment to battle her devastating disease!

Selena Gomez, 23, explained in a Billboard interview that her break from the spotlight in 2014 was because she was dealing with her lupus diagnosis. Selly also said she treated her disease with chemotherapy, but isn’t that what people get when they have cancer? A medical expert EXCLUSIVELY tells HollywoodLife.com why the “Good For You” singer used chemo to get her lupus under control.

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“Treatment for lupus varies from patient to patient,” Dr. Bonnie Bermas, M.D., the director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Lupus Center EXCLUSIVELY tells HollywoodLife.com. “Some patients, depending on their manifestations, can be treated with chemotherapy either by pill form or intravenously.”

Lupus is an inflammatory disease that attacks the body’s organs, and according to Dr. Bermas, chemotherapy “alters the abnormal behavior of [affected] cells and slows down the reproduction of these cells.”

“Chemotherapy treatment is often used if the lupus is affecting the kidneys and or the central nervous system,” Dr. Bermas added, saying that the dose of chemotherapy Selena used against her disease is “lower than what would be used for treating a cancer patient, and the length of time is shorter.”

“In the more serious cases of Lupus, the immune system can start attacking the internal organs, such as the brain, the liver and the kidneys,” Dr. Swamy Venuturupalli, M.D., F.A.C.R., Diplomate, American Boards of Internal Medicine and Rheumatology tells HollywoodLife.com. “This is when chemotherapy is used as a treatment to slow down the production of these immune system cells.”

Selena decided to be responsible about her disease, putting her health before her career by taking a break in early 2014. She seemed to understand how dangerous lupus could be if left uncheck, telling Billboard that “I could’ve had a stroke.”

While chemo may seem extreme to some, Dr. Bermas also said that treatments for lupus may also include medications, such as corticosteroids and hydrocortisone. “It takes quite a bit of time to determine the best treatment to keep the lupus under control,” Dr. Bermas tells HollywoodLIfe.com, “and treatments typically vary throughout a person’s life.”

We’re glad that Selena’s staying on top of her disease and making sure it doesn’t negatively affect her health. After all, she has a brand new album coming out and an upcoming world tour. The last thing she needs is lupus getting in the way.

Are you surprised that Selena used chemo to treat her lupus, HollywoodLifers?

— Jason Brow, reporting by Sandra Clark