In a poignant interview with ABC News, Shannen Doherty shared that her cancer has returned.
In 2016, the “Beverly Hills, 90210” star opened up about her battle with breast cancer, a fight that included chemotherapy, radiation and a double mastectomy.
“I had breast cancer that spread to the lymph nodes, and from one of my surgeries we discovered that some of the cancer cells might have actually gone out of the lymph nodes; so for that reason, we are doing chemo, and then after chemo, I’ll do radiation,” the “Charmed” and “Heathers” star told Entertainment Tonight in 2016, also mentioning her fears that the cancer could return in the future.
Sadly, as she confirmed in this latest interview, her cancer has returned — and it is stage 4.
According to the American Cancer Society, stage 4 breast cancer means that cancer has traveled to other parts of a patient’s body and has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes. There is no cure for stage 4 breast cancer, but treatment often includes chemotherapy, cancer drugs, hormone therapy and more.
“It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways,” Doherty says in her ABC interview. “I definitely have days where I say, ‘Why me?’ And then I go, ‘Well why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this?’ None of us do. I would say that my first reaction is always concern about how am I going to tell my mom, my husband.”
Doherty, who also starred in the “Beverly Hills, 90210” reboot, said she wants people to see that a stage 4 cancer diagnosis is not the end.
“Our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis,” she said. “We still have some living to do.”
The National Cancer Insitute reports that 27% of American patients survive at least five years after their stage 4 diagnosis. However, survival rates can vary greatly, and there are many people who are able to thrive years into the future with this metastatic breast cancer diagnosis.
We wish Shannen Doherty comfort and strength as she continues her brave battle against cancer.