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Shannen Doherty Just Shared a Heartbreaking Update on Her Cancer Battle

The 90210 star has been open about her experience with breast cancer.

Eight years after first being diagnosed with breast cancer, Shannen Doherty has shared a heartbreaking update about her battle. On Tuesday, June 6, the Beverly Hills, 90210 star posted a video to Instagram of herself receiving radiation treatment to her brain, because the cancer has spread there. In her caption, Doherty explained that she was sharing "what cancer can look like" and spoke about the "fear" and "turmoil" she has experienced.

The actor has shared many details of her illness with her fans over the years, whether they be about progress or new struggles. Read on to find out more about what the 52-year-old actor revealed and how fans and friends reacted to her emotional new post.

READ THIS NEXT: Cancer Survivor Rita Wilson Says She Stopped Eating This After Her Diagnosis.

Doherty was diagnosed in 2015.

Shannen Doherty at the 5th Biennial Stand Up To Cancer in 2016
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Doherty announced via a statement to People in 2015 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015  "Yes, I have breast cancer, and I am currently undergoing treatment," she said. "I am continuing to eat right, exercise and stay very positive about my life. I am thankful to my family, friends and doctors for their support and, of course, my fans who have stood by me."

As reported by CBS News, the cancer spread to Doherty's lymph nodes, and she underwent chemotherapy and radiation. She also had a mastectomy. The Charmed star shared that she entered remission in 2017, but in 2020, she told ABC News that the cancer had returned and was stage 4. "I don't think I've processed it. It's a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways," she said in the interview.

She began a new radiation treatment in January.

Shannen Doherty at the Farrah Fawcett Foundation's Tex-Mex Fiesta in 2019
DFree / Shutterstock

On June 5, Doherty shared an Instagram video in which she's being fitted for a special mask to wear during radiation treatment to the brain. In a post on June 6, she shared a video of her receiving treatment while wearing the mask, which she said was filmed on Jan. 12 of this year.

"On January 5th, my ct scan showed Mets in my brain," she wrote in the caption, referring to the cancer being metastatic. "Yesterdays [sic] video was showing the process of getting fitted for the mask which you wear during radiation to your brain. January 12, the first round of radiation took place."

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She opened up about how she's feeling.

Shannen Doherty and Kurt Iswarienko at Jennie Garth's 40th birthday party in 2012
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

In the caption, Doherty continued, "My fear is obvious. I am extremely claustrophobic and there was a lot going on in my life. I am fortunate as I have great doctors like Dr. Amin Mirahdi and the amazing techs at cedar sinai. But that fear…. The turmoil….. the timing of it all…. This is what cancer can look like."

The reference to "a lot going on in [her] life" could be, in part, about her split from her husband of 11 years, Kurt Iswarienko. In April, Doherty's rep confirmed to People that she had filed for divorce. "Divorce is the last thing Shannen wanted," her rep said. "Unfortunately, she felt she was left with no other option." People reported the divorce filing showed that Doherty and Iswarienko had separated in January, and the reason for the divorce was listed as "irreconcilable differences."

Fans and friends sent their support and gratitude to Doherty.

Selma Blair at the Academy Museum Gala in 2022
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

Many people sent their well wishes and support to Doherty in the comments of her Instagram posts. Some thanked her for being honest about her experience and shared their own stories of either battling cancer themselves or going through the experience with loved ones.

Doherty also received a number of messages from peers in the entertainment industry. Selma Blair posted, "This is a lot. This is a lot to take on, still again. And I am wishing for all the wise peace you have learned to find you in the terror moments. To know we are holding you. Love. All love."

Doherty's List of a Lifetime co-star Kelly Hu wrote, "Wishing you lots of strength and love, SiStar." Her No One Would Tell castmate Mira Sorvino posted, "Sending you love."

"Rooting for you, my irreplaceable friend," wrote Kevin Smith, who directed Doherty in the 1995 movie Mallrats. "You have been such a fearless fighter your whole life, so it's understandable to be a little scared from time to time. But when those moments pass, let that indomitable Doherty spirit take over anew. I love you so much, my Mallrat."

Doherty addressed a major misconception about cancer.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Shannen Doherty at the Hero Dog Awards in 2019
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

In addition to sharing her battle on social media and in interviews, Doherty has also spoken about misconceptions people might have about those living with cancer.

In a 2020 interview with her friend Sarah Michelle Gellar for Entertainment Tonight, Doherty said, "I want people to not hear 'stage 4 cancer' and think of the person that is gray and falling over and they can't move and they're going into hospice and they can't work. You get written off so quickly, even though you're vital and healthy and happy and wanting to go out there and work. So, I'm sharing in order to hopefully give a different face to all of this."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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