Shannen Doherty Shares Emotional Update on Breast Cancer Journey


Ever since her breast cancer diagnosis in 2015, Shannen Doherty has used her platform to educate the world on the realities of living with the illness. Now, she’s getting more candid than ever about her journey.

In an October 7 Instagram post, the Beverly Hills, 90210 actress shared two photos of her battle with breast cancer: one of her treating a nosebleed and one of her sleeping in Cookie Monster pajamas. “For breast cancer awareness month, I’d like to share more of my own personal journey from my first diagnosis to my second,” Doherty, 50, wrote in the caption. “Is it all pretty? NO, but it’s truthful, and my hope in sharing is that we all become more educated, more familiar with what cancer looks like.”


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In 2017 Doherty shared that she had gone into remission. But in February 2020, the Charmed actress revealed that the illness had returned, this time as stage four breast cancer.

Stage four cancers have metastasized, or spread to parts of the body away from where they originated, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Breast cancer commonly spreads to the bones, liver, and lungs, per the ACS, and the illness is considered “incurable” at this stage. But treatments are available and can slow and even shrink tumors, making it possible to live for years after diagnosis.

Despite living with an advanced stage of cancer, Doherty expressed that “people with stage four are very much alive and very active,” she said last month at a panel promoting her new film, List of a Lifetime.

She’s expressed an urge to raise awareness about the reality of living life with cancer, too: “I feel like I have a responsibility … to talk about cancer and perhaps educate people more,” Doherty said.

“I hope I encourage people to get mammograms, to get regular checkups, to cut [through] the fear and face whatever might be in front of you,” continued Doherty, who also mentioned she experienced nosebleeds and extreme fatigue from chemotherapy, in the caption.