7 Years Later Shannen Doherty Is Still Battling Cancer

Shannen Doherty has a face you likely recognize. She became a household name as a child actress and continued her success well into adulthood.

You may recognize her most from 90210, The Heathers, Charmed, and many more. Sadly while Doherty found success in Hollywood, her focus would later turn to more challenging feats, like fighting cancer for seven years.

7 Years Later Shannen Doherty Is Still Battling Cancer
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As Self reports, Doherty was first diagnosed in 2015 with breast cancer after finding a lump in her own breast. Doherty began her fight against breast cancer with hormone therapy.

7 Years Later Shannen Doherty Is Still Battling Cancer

However, she eventually needed to undergo a single mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. Two years after her initial diagnosis, in 2017, Self reports that Doherty announced she was finally in remission.

Sadly in 2020, the actress announced that the cancer had returned. This time it was stage IV metastatic breast cancer and it had spread to other parts of her body, like her spine, Elle reported.

RELATED: Shannen Doherty On Cancer Battle: ‘It’s Part Of Life At This Point’

7 Years Later Shannen Doherty Is Still Battling Cancer

Doherty admitted she learned the cancer returned after experiencing sharp pain in her back. “It was no longer, ‘I worked out, and I’m a little sore.’ It was like, ‘God, this hurts!’ ”

“I don’t think that I’ve processed it,” she told Good Morning America at the time. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways. I definitely have days where I say, ‘Why me?’ And then I go, ‘Well, why not me? Who else besides me deserves this?’ None of us do.”

As People reported in 2020, Doherty started hormone therapy along with another stabilizing drug. Sadly her “cancer is terminal, and will likely spread to her brain, lungs, and liver.”

In 2019, Doherty told Health Magazine of the moment she was initially diagnosed. “There was a lump, and I had a mammogram and then a biopsy.”

“When I got the results, I was in the car with my mom and I just knew. The longer I sat, the more it started sinking in. Then I started crying. I called my husband and told him. And from there, I just put together a team.”

In 2020, after being told the cancer had returned, Doherty spoke with Elle in September 2020. She admitted she was preparing for the end, but there was still something she needed to do.

7 Years Later Shannen Doherty Is Still Battling Cancer
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“I haven’t sat down to write letters. That’s something I need to do. There are things I need to say to my mom. I want my husband to know what he’s meant to me,” she explained.

“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.”

And while the prognosis isn’t the most optimistic, Doherty is planning to make the most of the time she has left. “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 told Elle.

Over the last several years, Doherty choose to use her social media to also speak about her battle. While talking with Health, the actress admitted her goal was simply to be “as honest as possible.”

“And then it became very important to me that I was there for people who were going through it. I would never give medical advice because I’m not a doctor, but I would always say, ‘Advocate for yourself.’ And also, I get a little less trolls and haters on social media now, so that’s good. I think because cancer stripped me of my defense mechanisms, it allowed people to see all sides of me.”

7 Years Later Shannen Doherty Is Still Battling Cancer
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But despite looking like Doherty is at peace with whatever may happen, she told ET that the “unknown is always the scariest part. Is the chemo going to work? Is the radiation going to work? You know, am I going to have to go through this again, or am I going to get secondary cancer?”

Doherty continued saying, “Everything else is manageable. Pain is manageable, you know living without a breast is manageable, it’s the worry of your future and how your future is going to affect the people that you love.”

And while cancer has put her through it, she admits that she has benefited from her battle as well. While talking with Good Morning America, Doherty revealed that she thinks cancer “made me a better actor.”

“I also think it made me a better human being. It takes down all your walls, all your barriers, everything that life sort of threw at you … You’re guarding yourself, so yeah, that all comes tumbling down,” she continued.

And in the face of the scariest battle anyone can face, she told Good Morning America that she will never give up. “You really have to dig deep to face cancer, and in that, you find all this stuff that you had hidden away. And it’s beautiful things that you find: You find the vulnerability, you find your trust in people again. You find forgiveness.”

7 Years Later Shannen Doherty Is Still Battling Cancer

“I’m going to keep fighting to stay alive.”

While October is breast cancer awareness month, Doherty has shared many updates regarding her continued fight against cancer. In August she opened up about a 21-day reset diet and the cheat meal she was able to indulge in.

Her last obvious update came in February 2022, when she shared a photo from a visit to her doctor. “Early morning doctors visit for scans. Blurry eyed. Hair askew but the new bandage wraps made me smile! #cancerslayer.”

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