Lisa Lisa, '80s Pop Icon, Says She Had to Hide Breast Cancer on Tour: 'My Mom Didn't Even Know'

The singer said she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy at 21 years old

<p>Johnny Louis/Getty</p> Lisa Lisa

Johnny Louis/Getty

Lisa Lisa

Singer Lisa Lisa revealed she hid her breast cancer diagnosis at 21 years old because she was on tour.

On the May 16 episode of The Tamron Hall Show, the '80s pop icon opened up about the health scare and admitted that even her mother didn’t know what she was enduring at the time.

“It was hard to talk about back then,” the 57-year-old said on the show. “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.”

“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.”

Ductal carcinoma in situ is a non-invasive, stage zero cancer trapped inside the milk ducts.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

<p>MPIRock/MediaPunch via Getty</p> Lisa Lisa performing in 1987

MPIRock/MediaPunch via Getty

Lisa Lisa performing in 1987

Despite her diagnosis, the “Can You Feel the Beat” singer said she decided to juggle both her career and chemotherapy.

“It was difficult,” Lisa Lisa 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.’”

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, except for skin cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute, early detection through mammograms allows patients to get a head start on treatment, and can decrease the likelihood of it spreading.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force states that women should be getting regular mammograms when they turn 40.

Health officials also advise women of all ages to practice "breast self-awareness," which means becoming familiar with how a person's own breasts normally look and feel, so they will be more likely to recognize anything out of the ordinary when doing a breast self-examination.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.