Beverly Hills 90210 and Charmed actress Shannen Doherty recently revealed that her breast cancer has returned. The actress opened up about her new diagnosis in an interview on Tuesday with ABC’s Good Morning America. Although the actress admitted that she had considered keeping the stage 4 cancer diagnosis private, she ultimately decided to “control the narrative” about her struggle with the terminal illness.
Doherty told ABC News‘ Amy Robach, “It’s going to come out in a matter of days or a week that — I’m stage four. So my cancer came back. And that’s why I’m here. I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”
Perhaps part of the reasoning for Doherty to open up about her new diagnosis has something to do with controlling any new leaks about her current medical condition. In December 2019, the actress sued State Farm Insurance for allegedly not paying for damage incurred by a fire that happened at her home in Malibu. After a judge ordered her to hand over her medical records, Doherty refused in an attempt to keep her records private to avoid leaks. This suggests that Doherty might have already been aware of her new cancer diagnosis at that time.
In 1999, Doherty was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. In 2015, she revealed that she had also been diagnosed with breast cancer which had spread to her lymph nodes. After treatment with anti-estrogen, she underwent a single mastectomy. Because the cancer was more advanced than initially thought, she also underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In 2017, after two years of grueling treatment, Doherty revealed that the cancer was finally in remission. It seemed that she had beat cancer once and for all.
Doherty most recently reunited with her Beverly Hills 90210 castmates for a reboot of the series. Although technically the show was not a reboot or a sequel, it played more like a reality show where each actor played a version of themselves. The new series brought back the original cast, save for actor Luke Perry, who passed away in 2019. The show did offer a small tribute to him, but it was mostly about the current cast moving forward with their lives. Unfortunately, the new series did not get greenlit for a season 2.
Doherty has been brave in coming forward with details about her new stage 4 cancer diagnosis. She also revealed that part of her reason for returning for the Beverly Hills 90210 reboot series was to prove to herself that she could still work. She said:
“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 four can work too,” she explained. “Like, you know, our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do.”