Shannen Doherty Reveals That Her Breast Cancer Has Spread

Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images.
Shannen Doherty has just revealed the devastating news that her breast cancer has spread. In a new interview, the Beverly Hills, 90210 actress told Entertainment Tonight, "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." Doherty, who revealed her diagnosis in August last year, documented the emotional process of shaving her head on Instagram last month, and told ET that she made the decision to shave her head after her second session of chemotherapy, when her hair began to fall out in clumps. In the new interview, she also opened up about the single mastectomy that she underwent in May, though she says the procedure wasn't the most difficult thing about her ongoing battle.
"The unknown is always the scariest part," she told ET. "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? 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." Doherty praised the supportive surgeon who performed her mastectomy, but said that the aftermath of the procedure still involved a lot of emotional and physical adjustments. "It was traumatic and horrible," she said of her fitting for a new bra. "I didn't think anything of it at the time, then my mom went with me and I broke down crying in the dressing room and ran out. And then sat in the car crying." Doherty has undergone three out of eight rounds of chemotherapy thus far, and candidly described her intense post-chemo experiences, citing her husband as a constant source of support. "After my first treatment I lost 10 pounds, instantly. You're throwing up and the last thing you want to do is be in a car," she said. "You don't want to be moved, you can't eat. But my husband has to, you know, pick me up. He puts me in the car, he buckles me in, and he drives me to my oncologist and they hook me up to an IV and I get hydrated. There's nothing going in my body, it's all going out."
Still, she hopes that her open, personal discussion will help others who are struggling with cancer feel less alone. "I wanted to put it out there the way it felt the best for me to put it out there," she said. "And also, if I could help one person, then it makes me go, 'Oh OK.' It's easier to live with having cancer if I know I'm helping at least one person."

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