Shannen Doherty Calls Her Stage 4 Breast Cancer 'a Bitter Pill to Swallow'

The actress disclosed that her cancer, first diagnosed in 2015, has returned.
February 4, 2020, 7:56pm
shannen doherty, breast cancer, stage 4, diagnosis,
Photo by Tibrina Hobson via Getty Images

After almost three years in remission, Shannen Doherty’s cancer has returned.

The actress, best known for her roles on ‘90s television hits Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed, disclosed that she has stage four cancer during a sit-down interview with ABC News anchor Amy Robach that aired Tuesday on Good Morning America.

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

Doherty received her initial cancer diagnosis in March of 2015, though she waited until August of that year to make that news public. Since making that announcement, the entertainer has kept fans updated on her progress via social media. In August 2016, she revealed that she had begun undergoing chemo after learning that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.

Aside from certain skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women of any race or ethnicity—though it is disproportionately fatal among Black women. About one in eight women in the United States are expected to develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, and the American Cancer Society estimates that about 276,000 new cases will be diagnosed in 2020.

Stage 4 breast cancer survival rates aren’t always encouraging, but Doherty, who recently had a guest role on the CW’s Riverdale, seems to have developed an optimistic outlook on managing her diagnosis.

“I don’t think you’re ever on the other side [of cancer,” Doherty told People last year. “I don’t think about the fact that I’m in remission. I look at it like I’m lucky to be alive every minute, every second of the day.”

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