Actor Shannen Doherty posted an honest video about her breast cancer treatment on Tuesday and told fans the disease has spread to her brain.
Doherty, who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2020, posted an emotional video to Instagram of herself crying as she underwent radiation therapy on her brain. The Beverly Hills, 90210 actor also earlier had to be fitted for a custom-made mask that must be worn during treatment to keep a patient’s head still and ensure radiation lasers are accurately targeted.
Doherty said a CT scan from Jan. 5 revealed she had brain metastases, a condition that occurs when cancer cells spread from their original site to another location in the patient’s body.
Doherty said she underwent the first round of radiation on her brain on Jan. 12.
“My fear is obvious,” Doherty wrote. “I am extremely claustrophobic and there was a lot going on in my life.”
She continued, writing that she is “fortunate” to have great doctors and technicians at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
“But that fear…. The turmoil….. the timing of it all…. This is what cancer can look like,” Doherty concluded.
Doherty was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. Within one year, the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and Doherty underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.
By 2017, Doherty had no evidence of disease (NED), meaning there was no cancer detected in her body at the time. Her tumour markers, the substances made by cancer cells or by normal cells in response to cancer, remained “elevated.”
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In 2020, the Charmed star appeared on Good Morning America where she said her cancer returned as a stage 4 diagnosis.
Ask an Expert: breast cancer awareness
Doherty has been consistently open about her cancer treatment. She has encouraged other women to be aware of the signs and risks of breast cancer.
During breast cancer awareness month in October 2021, Doherty encouraged her Instagram followers “to get mammograms, to get regular checkups, to cut thru the fear and face whatever might be in front of you.”
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