Shannen Doherty Shares Anguish Over Stage 4 Breast Cancer


After five years of breast cancer and then remission, Shannen Doherty revealed that she has stage 4 cancer. The 48-year-old revealed her diagnosis on ABC’s Good Morning America, explaining that she decided to open up so that she could “control the narrative of her experience with the terminal illness.

She told Amy Rochach: “It's going to come out in a matter of days or a week that — I'm stage four. 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."

The Beverly Hills, 90210 star admitted that she’s had trouble accepting the diagnosis after years of remission. 

"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,'" said Doherty. "But I would say that my first reaction is always concern about how — how am I going to tell my mom, my husband."

In 2015, when she was diagnosed, she shared her struggles openly on social media, but this time was different as she found out shortly after her friend Luke Perry died unexpectedly at age 52 from a stroke. 

Doherty said: ["It's so weird for me to be diagnosed and then somebody who was, you know, seemingly healthy to go first. It was really, like, shocking. And the least I could do to honor him was to do that show. I still haven't done enough, in my opinion. So it's a hard one."] SOUNDCUE (:24 OC: . . .it’s a hard one.)

She added that she wanted to prove that she could still work, which is why she agreed to the 90210 reboot:  "One of the reasons, along with Luke — that I did 90210 and didn't really tell anybody because I thought, people can look at that other people with stage four can work, too. Like, you know, our life doesn't end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do."

Doherty said that she confided in co-star Brian Austin Green, which helped her: "I had moments of great anxiety where I thought, 'I can't really do this,' and Brian was the one person who — of that group of people that knew — that I told, like, pretty quickly and said, 'Here, this is what I'm dealing with.’ So prior to shooting he would always call me and say, 'Listen, you know, whatever happens, I have your back.' He would look at me and be like, 'We got this, kiddo' Brian helped me through a lot."