Shannen Doherty shares rare update on her battle with breast cancer

Sep 30, 2020
Shannen Doherty was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer last year. Source: Getty.

American actress Shannen Doherty has shared a rare update on her battle with stage four breast cancer, telling Elle magazine how she is spending her final years.

The Beverly Hills 90210 star was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in 2019 but didn’t make it public knowledge until this year when she discussed the diagnosis on ABC News’ Good Morning America in February.

“It’s going to come out in a matter of days or a week that I’m stage four,” she said live on air at the time. “So my cancer came back, and that’s why I’m here. I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”

Speaking candidly the 49-year-old has now opened up about her treatment plan, which, according to Elle, includes hormone therapy and “a second targeted drug that is often effective at stabilizing metastatic disease.”

Doherty also revealed she plans to write letters and leave video messages for loved ones after her death.

“I haven’t sat down to write letters,” she said. “That’s something I need to do. There are things I need to say to my mum. I want my husband [Kurt Iswarienko] to know what he’s meant to me.”

She continued: “But whenever it comes time for me to do it, it feels so final. It feels like you’re signing off, and I’m not signing off. I feel like I’m a very, very healthy human being. It’s hard to wrap up your affairs when you feel like you’re going to live another 10 or 15 years.”

The actress also revealed that she’s trying to “treasure all the small moments” in her life, saying: “I try to treasure all the small moments that most people don’t really see or take for granted.

“The small things are magnified for me. We have this endless well within us, and it’s just about continuing to dig in that well for the strength to face adversity – and so that we can also see all the beauty.”

Doherty was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She was open about her struggles with the disease, regularly documenting her battle on social media. The actress went into remission two years later. But after her most recent diagnosis, Doherty said she initially tried to keep it somewhat private as she returned to work on the Beverly Hills 90210 reboot series.

Her announcement at the time came 11 months after her friend and co-star Luke Perry died suddenly from a stroke. Doherty played Brenda Walsh (Perry’s on-screen love interest) on Beverly Hills, 90210 from 1990 to 1994.

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