Inside the actress’ diagnosis timeline and treatment updates.
When Was Shannen Doherty Diagnosed With Breast Cancer?
Shannen was first diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2015, but kept the news private until August of that year. She confirmed her diagnosis to People that month after TMZ reported on a lawsuit against her former business partner that mentioned her disease.
The lawsuit claimed that after Shannen was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, which had spread to at least one lymph node at the time, her business manager failed to pay her insurance premiums, per People. This resulted in Shannen delaying her treatment until she was insured, which, the suit claimed, could have impacted her long-term health and resulted in more aggressive treatment later on.
A representative for her former manager, Tanner Mainstain, denied he had caused Shannen’s gap in insurance in an August 2015 statement to the outlet.
When Did Shannen Doherty’s Breast Cancer Go Into Remission?
In April 2017, Shannen announced that her cancer had gone into remission in an emotional Instagram post.
“Moments. They happen,” the Beverly Hills, 90210 alum wrote in her April 28, 2017, caption. “Today was and is a moment. What does remission mean? I heard that word and have no idea how to react. Good news? YES. Overwhelming. YES. Now more waiting.”
She continued, explaining that the next five years would be “crucial” in determining if she would survive the disease, adding that “reoccurrences [sic] happen all the time.”
When Did Shannen Doherty’s Breast Cancer Become Stage 4?
Unfortunately, after she underwent chemotherapy, radiation and a breast reconstruction surgery, Shannen announced that her cancer had returned, this time at stage 4, in May 2018.
During an interview with Good Morning America at the time, Shannen said she hadn’t yet “processed” her diagnosis, which she had received months before. Shannen explained that she wanted to keep it private for as long as possible so she could participate in the 2019 reboot of 90210.
“Like, you know, our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do,” she told the outlet at the time.
When Did Shannen Doherty’s Stage 4 Breast Cancer Spread?
Despite her positive outlook, Shannen’s cancer continued to spread. In June 2023, Shannen revealed via Instagram that her cancer had metastasized to her brain that January.
Shannen, who admitted to being “extremely claustrophobic,” shared a video of her being fitted for a radiation mask earlier in the year with the caption, “That fear…. The turmoil….. the timing of it all…. This is what cancer can look like.”
By November 2023, Shannen’s cancer had spread to her bones. Despite her worsening health, Shannen told People she wasn’t ready to quit fighting.
“I don’t want to die,” she told the outlet at the time. “I’m not done with living. I’m not done with loving. I’m not done with creating. I’m not done with hopefully changing things for the better. I’m just not — I’m not done,” she said.
What Is the Latest Update on Shannen Doherty’s Health and Treatment?
Shannen gave fans a promising health update on the January 29, 2024, episode of her “Let’s Be Clear” podcast regarding the results of a new treatment she had been receiving.
The actress explained that at first, she didn’t see any improvement, admitting that she almost quit the new “cancer infusion” treatment after four treatments. However, she decided to stick with it a little longer, and after the “sixth or seventh treatment,” she began to see a “difference.”
“That it’s actually breaking down that blood-brain barrier is actually a miracle of that drug, a miracle of maybe God intervening and saying, ‘I’m gonna give her a break,’” she told her radiation oncologist Dr. Amin Mirhadi about the unnamed drug. “Sometimes you’re looking for miracles in all the wrong places, and they’re right in front of your face.”
What Has Shannen Doherty Said About Her Cancer?
In an exclusive interview with In Touch, Shannen reflected on the “morbid” but “fun” conversation revolving her funeral, revealing that there are some people she does not want to attend.
“There are a lot of people that would show up to the funeral that I don’t want there,” Shannen said, adding that the list of people she wants booted at the door is “way too long.”
“I don’t want them there, because their reasons for showing up aren’t necessarily the best reasons. They don’t like me enough to show up. I want my funeral to be a lovefest,” she explained. The actress further noted of her funeral wishes that she wants to be cremated, “and I want [my remains] to be mixed with my dog, and I want them to be mixed with my dad.”
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