'A bitter pill to swallow': Shannen Doherty has Stage IV breast cancer

By Heather Cichowski

Shannen Doherty has revealed some absolutely heartbreaking news: she's battling Stage IV breast cancer.

This isn't the first time the former Beverly Hills, 90210 star has battled the disease. Shannen was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and went into remission in 2017.

Along the way, she kept fans updated on her condition via her social media channels, including when she shaved her head during cancer treatment and when her tumour test results came back "elevated" in 2018.

Shannen at the Stand Up to Cancer Marks 10 Years Of Impact in Cancer Research event on Sept. 7, 2018 in Santa Monica. Photo: © Steve Granitz/WireImage

On Good Morning America on Feb. 4, Shannen candidly opened up about her new battle. She said she decided to go public with her diagnosis at this time because she said she would "rather people hear it from me." (Her diagnosis would have likely been made public from court documents pertaining to legal issues with her insurance company.)

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"It's going to come out in a matter of days or a week that – I'm stage four," she bravely said in the interview with Amy Robach.

Shannen was admirably open about her emotions and thoughts, admitting, "I don't think I've processed it. It's a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways."

She also said her concerns included how to tell her loved ones and said she questioned why this happened to her.

The star detailed how she initially kept the news to herself and returned to work. She said she went back to the 90210 reboot shortly after the news, which heartbreakingly coincided with the untimely passing of her co-star, Luke Perry.

"One of the reasons – along with Luke – that I did 90210 and didn't really tell anybody [was] because I thought, people can look at that other people with stage four can work too."

"Our life doesn't end the minute we get that diagnosis," she continued. "We still have some living to do."

She credited co-star Brian Austin Green for being part of her support system during long shooting days. He was one of the select people that knew what was happening to the former Charmed actress.

Brian Austin Green and Shannen Doherty at the FOX Summer TCA 2019 All-Star Party on Aug. 7, 2019 in Los Angeles. Photo: © Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

"Prior to shooting, he would always call me and say, 'Listen, you know, whatever happens, I have your back,'" Shannen revealed. "He would look at me and be like, 'We got this, kiddo'... so Brian helped me through a lot."

We're sending Shannen and her family warm wishes and prayers during her battle.

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