Some people didn't know much about lupus until singer and actress Selena Gomez shared with the public that she had a kidney transplant last summer because of it. Even though it is considered to be a rare disease, it affects about 1.5 million people in the United States. Since Gomez has been bringing attention to her condition, people are listening who knew little about it before.

Gomez's medical journey

Even though Gomez underwent a kidney transplant over the summer, she did not disclose any information about it until September. To protect her privacy and the privacy of her donor, the 25-year-old singer waited until she was on the road to recovery before disclosing too many details about the illness she was suffering from.

Now Selena is rather open about her condition. The singer has been speaking out about her medical journey. She said she went through chemotherapy to treat the disease in 2015. People didn't know then, but they know now that's the reason she took a break and stayed out of the spotlight. At the time, she was dealing with some side effects which included anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.

She underwent surgery because her best friend donated one of her kidneys. She and actress Francia Raísa are appearing on the "Today" show on Monday and Tuesday this week in a two-part interview to discuss their shared experience. She gives her friend credit for saving her life.

What is lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can attack any part of the body of any person.

It doesn't matter about one's race, nationality or celebrity status because the disease can attack the skin, joints, lungs, and kidneys of any person. The Lupus Foundation of America wants people to know that the condition commonly occurs in females of childbearing age. It is more prominent in women of color. It can happen to children, teens, and men but not as often as to women.

Since lupus is a genetic disease, there is no way to prevent it from happening. However, it can happen to someone who has no family history of it. In most cases, the person who has lupus also has someone else in the family with it or some other autoimmune disease.

Since the actress has been so transparent about her medical condition, doctors are thankful because of the attention she is bringing to the public. She has been praised by the Lupus Foundation of America and the medical community for raising awareness of the disease and for supporting the research of it.