Roxanne ShanteOn the heels of debunked claims that her record label paid for her college education, veteran rapper Roxanne Shante is revealing that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The 40-year-old first noticed a lump in her breast earlier this year, but did nothing about it for months. "In March, I noticed a lump in my left breast, rather small at the time and didn't really know what I was feeling," she said in an interview with AOL's Black Voices. "So instead of going straight to the doctor's office, I started asking friends their opinion and trying to go by their experiences. It was such a stupid move. Well, I figured I was just getting older. A hysterectomy in my early thirties led me to believe that I would be fine. Another stupid move."

Shante goes on to say that she was in denial at first, and lost 40 lbs before finally going back to the doctor in August. She had a mammogram done and later received an urgent letter from the lab. She was told that the lump was indeed cancerous. "I felt all eyes were on me to tell women how important it is for them to get checked. It is only by the grace of God that I have been able to survive."

The '80s rapper also used the interview as an opportunity to inadvertently address allegations that she lied about having her former record label, Warner Music, pay for her education. "Do I apologize? Yes, I do. But I am not asking for your forgiveness," she said. "I am sorry about a lot of things that I should've done differently. There were quite a few things that have been exposed with that article; the fact that I never received any royalties, the fact that I did go on to attend college (even if no Ph.D. was acquired), and the fact that at 14 years old and coming straight from the group home, I went on to create a career that even after 20 years of not making a hit record, was still pulling headlines.

"To be called Dr. Roxanne Shante was, and is, a privilege. But with that privilege comes pressure. I also had to live and talk like someone with a doctorate -- not an easy task at all. I had to make sure that people felt healed and inspired after speaking with me. So, yes, I apologize to all those who applied themselves and put in all the hard work that is required to acquire a Ph.D. I admire you all. But don't discredit all the hard work and sacrifices so many others have also done to also reach their goals."

Unfortunately this latest story has been met with some skepticism, as some are unsure if she isn't merely looking for more publicity.

As a teen Shante, born Lolita Shante Gooden, gained popularity for breaking into the male dominated industry. Her most noted songs was the dis record 'Roxanne's Revenge,' in which she responded to rap group U.T.F.O.'s song 'Roxanne Roxanne.' Shante is also the founding member of the group Juice Crew. She released two albums 'Bad Sister,' in 1989 and 'The Bitch Is Back' in 1992 before stepping out of the spotlight.