Shannen Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and underwent hormone therapy and a unilateral mastectomy the following year after it spread to her lymph nodes. When it was discovered that the cancer spread beyond her lymph nodes, she underwent both chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
The former Charmed and 90210 actress received some encouraging news in 2017 and subsequently announced that her cancer was in remission – meaning the signs and symptoms of cancer were reduced. Two years later, she revealed that her breast cancer had returned, and it was even worse than before.
In 2020, she announced that she now had stage four cancer – also known as metastatic cancer, meaning it had spread beyond her lymph nodes and into other parts of the body. At the time, she was struggling to accept her newest reality and called it a ‘bitter pill to swallow’ in an interview with Good Morning America.
That was nearly three years ago, and while it is believed Shannen is still battling the horrific disease, she has learned how to cope with it. In fact, Shannen Doherty has continued to appear in films and television shows over the past eight years – including Hot Seat (2022), Fortress (2021), and two upcoming films.
And if you’re wondering how she continues to stay motivated, she appeared to give that answer in Instagram posts from mid-December and in November. “Friends. Seriously, friends. Like the people that will help you escape type friends. I love each of them so deeply,” she wrote in the caption, sharing a photo of her with friends.
Shannen Doherty has a point. Any doctor or mental health professional will agree that having a strong support system by your side is one of the most important factors in your journey toward recovery – especially when you’re battling a disease with no known cure. Without support, patients struggle mightily.
For some people, that means turning to their friends and family – those that have been there since ‘day one.’ For others, that means coupling those friends and family with the right doctors and mental health professionals. Of course, it also means ridding yourself of any negative or pessimistic people in your life. She also has her beloved dog Bowie to thank as well.
“Love of my life. Ms Bowie. It’s amazing what dogs can get you thru. Heart wrenching shit becomes bearable. To think that not all dogs, all animals are treated with such love and respect Can we please be kind?”
Shannen Doherty Has Metastatic Breast Cancer – What Does That Mean?
Many people might be asking themselves what metastatic breast cancer means and what the prognosis is for it – don’t worry, you’re not alone. Metastatic cancer, also known as Stage IV cancer, means that the cancer has spread beyond its site of origin and into another part, or parts, of the body. It’s sadly the worst kind.
While there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, advancements in technology provide a number of treatments – such as hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and medication – that can help slow down the rate of progression and give the individual a better quality of life as they continue their battle with the disease.
“With advanced disease, the goal of treatment is to keep you as stable as possible, slow the tumor growth and improve your quality of life,” said Dr. Elizabeth Comen – an oncologist with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. She explains that it’s not just about living with the disease but living well.