Shannen Doherty’s eight years of battling breast cancer have been difficult to say the least. She updated her condition in a recent Instagram photo, writing, “Early morning doctors visit for scans.”
With bleary eyes. My hair was a mess, but the fresh bandage wraps brightened my day! #cancerslayer,” she captioned a selfie with her pink heart-patterned bandages.
Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 after discovering a lump in her breast. She was given hormone therapy for a while but eventually needed a single mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Doherty’s cancer went into remission in 2017. Unfortunately, it reappeared in February 2020 as stage IV breast cancer. Her illness had spread to other portions of her body as well.
The stages of breast cancer vary from 0 to IV, with higher numbers signifying a more invasive malignancy, or how far the cancerous cells have grown beyond the original tumor.
Stage 0 signifies the disease is noninvasive or contained within the milk ducts, according to the Mayo Clinic, whereas stage IV (also known as metastatic breast cancer, which is the stage Doherty is in) means the cancer has spread to other regions of the body.
More than 150,000 breast cancer survivors in the United States are living with metastatic breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
Despite the fact that metastatic breast cancer is not often curable, research has discovered that because to technological improvements, the lifespan of those diagnosed with the disease has increased substantially.
Last year, Doherty appeared in two TV movies, List of a Lifetime and Dying to Belong, to help him get through these difficult years of cancer treatments.
The actress has used social media to discuss many aspects of her cancer struggle, including her chemotherapy experiences, throughout the years.
In October of last year, she also shared with her readers in a post about her struggles with breast cancer: “I had several nose bleeds from the chemo.”
I’m not sure whether any of you have had this experience. I was also exhausted. I made myself feel better by putting on some amusing pajamas that my friend Kristy had given me.
Did they genuinely make me feel better? Yes!! Lol. I looked stupid, and I was able to laugh at myself because of it. Laughter helped me get through what seemed impossible. I think we can all laugh at the impossible.”