Almost three years after announcing that she’d gone into remission, Shannen Doherty has revealed that her cancer has returned.
The Beverly Hills, 90210 actor sat down with ABC News for an interview to share her health update on Tuesday morning.
“It’s going to come out in a matter of days or a week that I’m Stage 4. So my cancer came back, and that’s why I’m here,” Doherty said. “I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”
Stage 4 means that the breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body and it is also called advanced breast cancer, or metastatic breast cancer, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
The 48-year-old actor, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, said she has been dealing with it privately for about a year now.
“I definitely have days where I say, ‘Why me?’” Doherty said. “And then I go, ‘Well, why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this?’ None of us do.”
The Charmed alum said her first reaction was concern about how she would tell her mom and husband.
Doherty returned to work for the reboot BH 90210 after her diagnosis.
The actor was asked about what was going through her mind after Luke Perry’s death in March 2019 and returning to work while keeping her secret.
“It was so weird for me to be diagnosed and then somebody who was seemingly healthy to go first,” she said tearfully. “It was really shocking and the least I could do to honour him was do that show. I still haven’t done enough in my opinion.”
Doherty said she didn’t tell anyone about the return of her cancer because she wanted to prove that she can still work.
“One of the reasons, along with Luke, that I did 90210 and didn’t really tell anybody because I thought, people can look at that other people with Stage 4 can work, too,” she said.
“Our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do.”
She said she made it through shooting the reboot by leaning on co-star Brian Austin Green to help her get through the 15- to 16-hour filming days.
“I had moments of great anxiety where I thought, ‘I can’t really do this,’ and Brian was the one person who — of that group of people that knew — that I told, like, pretty quickly and said, ‘This is what I’m dealing with,'” she shared. “So prior to shooting, he would always call me and say, ‘Listen, you know, whatever happens, I have your back.’ We were able to talk about Luke in a way that was very positive and uplifting.”
In April 2017, Doherty announced her cancer was in remission.
“What does remission mean? I heard that word and have no idea how to react,” Doherty wrote in an Instagram post.
“Good news? YES. Overwhelming. YES.”
The actor also noted that she had more waiting to do.
“As every single one of my fellow cancer family knows, the next five years is crucial,” Doherty wrote.
“Reoccurences happen all the time. Many of you have shared that story with me.”
She broke down while talking about her illness in February 2016 on The Dr. Oz Show.
At the time, she said she delayed seeing a doctor after she felt a lump in her breast because she didn’t have any health insurance.