Shannen Doherty has some devastating news about her battle with breast cancer.
The 45-year-old actress reveals her cancer has spread in an exclusive sit-down with ET.
“I had breast cancer that spread to the lymph nodes, and from one of my surgeries we discovered that some of the cancer cells might have actually gone out of the lymph nodes,” Doherty tells ET’s Jennifer Peros. “So for that reason, we are doing chemo, and then after chemo, I’ll do radiation.”
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Doherty also reveals she had a single mastectomy in May and is open about the most difficult part of fighting cancer.
“The unknown is always the scariest part,” she shares. “Is the chemo going to work? Is the radiation going to work? You know, am I going to have to go through this again, or am I going to get secondary cancer? Everything else is manageable. Pain is manageable, you know living without a breast is manageable, it’s the worry of your future and how your future is going to affect the people that you love.”
But Doherty has found amazing support from her team of doctors, including the surgeon who performed her mastectomy.
“He didn’t want me to wake up with absolutely nothing,” she recalls. “It was very important to him that I didn’t have that experience, and so, he put an expander in, so I have a tiny something there. It’s cute and sometimes we fill it up and make it bigger, and sometimes we reduce it.”
“I’m being so personal right now,” she acknowledges. “But I think a lot of women can probably go, ‘Yeah, I’ve been through that.’ It’s great though, you get to pick out what size you want.”
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Still, Doherty did have an emotional reaction to getting fitted for a new bra.
“It was traumatic and horrible, and I didn’t think anything of it at the time, then my mom went with me and I broke down crying in the dressing room and ran out,” she recalls, now able to laugh about it. “And then sat in the car crying.”
Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2015, and has undergone three out of eight rounds of chemotherapy so far. One of the more difficult experiences has been losing her iconic hair — the long dark locks and blunt bangs she has sported since her Brenda Walsh days.