Shannen Doherty reveals her breast cancer has spread to her brain
Nineties television star Shannen Doherty has revealed that her stage four breast cancer has spread to her brain.
The 90210 alum’s cancer returned in late 2020 and ‘metastasized’, a situation in which cancer cells multiply and replicate in excess before spreading to other areas of her body — with scans in January showing it had now spread to her brain.
Revealing the diagnosis, Ms Doherty shared intimate scenes of herself with a cadre of medical professionals preparing for radiation treatments that blast cancer cells with high-powered X-rays to kill them.
In a candid comment, she said, ‘This is what cancer can look like’ and explained that her extreme claustrophobia made it difficult to get the treatment.
While the prognosis for people like Ms Doherty who have breast cancer that has spread to the brain has improved over the past two decades, the overall survival for breast cancer patients with brain metastasis is still just over two years.
Doherty, 52, has a fraught relationship with cancer. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, indicating that it had reached stage two or three and spread to her lymph nodes.
She underwent a mastectomy and when that did not resolve the issue completely, received chemotherapy and radiation treatments until announcing in 2017 that her cancer was in remission.
She announced on Tuesday that in early January she had undergone a CT scan that showed brain metastases.
Ms Doherty did not disclose the particular type of aggressive cancer she was battling, but the risk of brain metastases is highest in people who have certain subtypes – HER2-positive or triple-negative breast cancer.