Lebanese pop singer Elissa surprised fans this week by revealing in a new music video that she had overcome breast cancer, raising awareness of a disease campaigners say can be a taboo topic of discussion in Lebanon.
“Early detection of breast cancer can save your life. Don’t ignore it, face it,” 46-year-old Elissa wrote at the end of her video ‘To all who love me’, released on Tuesday.
Elissar Khoury, who performs under the name Elissa, is one of the best known and highest-selling female artists in the Arabic-speaking world, with 13.3 million followers on Twitter.
Elissa revealed in her video that she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in December. Interspersed with glittering dance scenes, the video shows her going under a medical scanner and lying in hospital beds.
It also includes footage of her collapsing on stage in February while performing in Dubai.
Lebanese gynecologist and member of the National Breast Cancer Campaign, Faysal el-Kak, welcomed Elissa putting breast cancer in the spotlight.
A day after Elissa’s video hit the internet, in neighboring Syria, first lady Asma al-Assad, 42, also said she had started treatment for early stage breast cancer.