Doherty has been quietly battling cancer for more than a year now and it is believed she kept the news under wraps due to the sudden death of her friend and costar Luke Perry in March 2019.
Beverly Hills, 90210 star Shannen Doherty recently opened up about a major health crisis she has been battling for over a year. During an interview with ABC News on Tuesday, the 48-year-old actress revealed that she has Stage 4 breast cancer. "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," said Doherty. Moreover, she expressed how she's still in the process of coming to terms with this. "I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways," she added.
Speaking about her health development, she said, "I definitely have days where I say, 'Why me?' And then I go, well, 'Why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this?' None of us do. I would say that my first reaction is always concern about how am I going to tell my mom, my husband." Doherty, who is known for her notable television roles in shows like Charmed, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, reports PEOPLE. About two years later, in 2017, the actress announced that she was in remission and throughout her crucial medical journey she has been keeping her fans updated.
However, this time around, Doherty decided to keep this recent news under wraps and has been quietly battling cancer for more than a year. One of the reasons behind this decision was the sudden death of her friend and costar Luke Perry in March 2019. "It’s so weird for me to be diagnosed and then somebody who was, you know, seemingly healthy to go first," expressed Doherty. "It was really, like, shocking." Despite her ailment, she continued to work and even filmed the Beverly Hills reboot BH90210 to honor Perry's memories. "The least I could do to honor him was do that show. I still haven't done enough in my opinion," she added.
"It's a hard one because I thought when I finally do come out, I would have worked and worked 16 hours a day and people can look at that and say, 'Oh my God, she can work and other people with stage 4 can work. Our life doesn't end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do," she continued. In an interview with Health magazine about a year ago, Doherty revealed that the terrible diagnosis forced her to be strong in a way she had never been before. "I felt more feminine and vulnerable than I’ve felt in my entire life," she confessed. According to CNN, Doherty chose to reveal her diagnosis now as the court filings (containing specifics of her current health status) of the legal battle she is in with an insurance company is set to release this week. "I'd rather people hear it from me," she explained.
"I was always used to being the strong one, and during that time period, every wall I’d built up in my life came down. I also had a lot more time to look at myself and say, ‘I’m a pretty okay person’ and cut myself some slack. I’ve had a lot of those epiphanies. It’s okay to stumble," she continued. These personal epiphanies helped her open up about her struggles with cancer and she hopes that sharing the ups and downs would encourage others. "It was just about being as honest as possible," she said, adding, "And then it became very important to me that I was there for people who were going through it."