Lifestyle & Human Interest

Actress Shannen Doherty Reveals Her Cancer Has Returned and It's Stage 4: 'A Bitter Pill To Swallow'


Actress Shannen Doherty, 48, revealed that she has stage 4 cancer, three years after battling breast cancer and going into remission in 2017.

In an interview that aired Tuesday on “Good Morning America,” Doherty confirmed her diagnosis, saying, “I’d rather people hear it from me.”

Doherty explained that she has kept the diagnosis private for the past year, even concealing it from her castmates during the 2019 reboot of “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

“It’s going to come out in a matter of days or a week that I’m stage 4. So my cancer came back, and that’s why I’m here,” Doherty said.

“I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”

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Doherty, known for her work in popular 90s shows like “Charmed” and “90210,” was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She was open about her health battle, documenting her journey on social media.

But when she received the news that her cancer had returned after going into remission in 2017, Doherty chose to keep the information to herself.

“I definitely have days where I say, ‘Why me?'” the actress said. “And then I go, ‘well, why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this? None of us do.'”

One of the reasons Doherty chose to keep her health news private was because of the sudden death of her friend and “90210” co-star Luke Perry, who died in March 2019.

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“It’s so weird for me to be diagnosed and then somebody who was, you know, seemingly healthy to go first,” Doherty said, wiping away tears. “It was really, like, shocking.”

Despite her stage 4 cancer diagnosis, Doherty worked on the television reboot of “Beverly Hills, 90210” as a way to honor Perry’s life and death, saying her participation was “the least I could do to honor him.”

A second reason for forging ahead with the grueling filming schedules during “90210” last year was to prove that people who are living with a stage 4 diagnosis can still contribute to society.

“Our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do,” she said.

Doherty did confide in one cast member, co-star Brian Austin Green, who she said was instrumental in getting her through not only the tough work schedule but also in grieving the loss of Perry.

As Doherty navigates the next chapter of her cancer battle, she hopes to use her platform to encourage and advocate for others in a similar situation.

“I think the thing I want to do the most right now is I want to make an impact,” Doherty said. “I want to be remembered for something bigger than just me.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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