Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Shannen Doherty opens up about her Stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis
Photo: Tibrina Hobson/WireImage (Getty Images)

When Beverly Hills, 90210 star Shannen Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2015, she was open about her struggle, even posting pictures of herself during extensive treatment that involved chemotherapy and radiation. She stated that her cancer was in remission in April 2017. But this week, Doherty announces that her cancer came back a year ago, and is now in stage four.


Doherty made the announcement in a tearful interview with ABC News’ Amy Robach on Good Morning America. She explains that she wanted to keep her diagnosis quiet as she went back to work 16-hours-a-day on the 90210 tongue-in-cheek reboot, only a few months after the death of her co-star Luke Perry. She recalls, “It’s so weird for me to be diagnosed and then somebody who was, you know, seemingly healthy to go first… It was really, like, shocking. And the least I could do to honor him was to do that show. I still haven’t done, in my opinion. So it’s a hard one.” She was afraid that the reveal of her diagnosis would affect how she was treated on the 90210 set, so she only told close friend and co-star Brian Austin Green. “Brian was the one person… that I told, like, pretty quickly… Prior to shooting he would always call me and say, ‘Listen, you know, whatever happens, I have your back.’ He would look at me and be like, ‘We got this, kiddo’… so Brian helped me through a lot.”

Now that her diagnosis is public, Doherty appears to be treating it with determined pragmatism. She admits, “I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.” But she also tells Robach, “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.”

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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