Elissa Khoury, Lebanese artist and influencer, in "Beating the Odds", at Dubai Health Forum at Rashid hall, Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: Last year, much to the shock of her fans, Lebanese singer Elissar Khoury revealed that she had been suffering from breast cancer but was healed.

Not even her immediate family was privy to the singer’s condition, despite her undergoing a series of surgeries and chemotherapy.

At Dubai Health Forum on Monday, resplendent and empowered by her challenging journey, Khoury revealed to the audience how she coped with her condition and scripted her victory.

“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was of course shocked and disturbed, but I chose not reveal my condition to anyone until it went away,” she said. “I never stopped working a single day. My doctor was upset that I was treating the grave disease as though I was handling a flu.”

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was of course shocked and disturbed, but I chose not reveal my condition to anyone until it went away.

- Lebanese singer Elissar Khoury

When Khoury fell over during a performance at Global Village last year, the news created a stir, but people had no idea that she was recovering from surgery.

Twist of fate

“I had undergone surgery for the removal of my glands,” she added. “But luckily, the cancer has not spread beyond the first set of lymph nodes.”

In a strange twist of fate, when Khoury told her sister about her condition, her sister also went into hospital for a screening check and was diagnosed with stage three cancer.

“A radio presenter once asked me if I had ever asked the question: ‘why me?’

“After my sister was able to catch her cancer I realised I had the power to reach and spread the message among women to create awareness.

“I understood that was why God had chosen me,” added Khoury, who also admitted to undergoing psychological counseling throughout her ordeal.

“Positivity is only way to deal with something like cancer,” she added. “My father who had stomach cancer was given only six months to live. But with the love and support of family he lived for seven years.”

Khoury has now turned vegan, cut out sugar and takes a dose of Vitamin B17, which was advised by alternative medicine therapists.