By Jonesa Rodriguez - February 05, 2020
After three years of being in remission, actress Shannen Doherty shared in an interview with ABC news anchor Amy Robach that her cancer has returned. Doherty, who is known for being transparent about her breast cancer journey, told Robach that the news was “a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”
The 48-year-old revealed in the interview which aired Tuesday on Good Morning America, that she has known about the diagnosis for a year now and that it was eventually going to come out and she wanted people to hear it from her first.
“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,” Doherty said.
Doherty admits that her reasoning for being private about her battle is because she wanted to prove that she was still able to work.
“Like, you know, our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do,” Doherty said.
Doherty, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, shared her journey via social media. She gave fans a glimpse into what life was like battling breast cancer, sharing photos of herself before her radiation treatments and telling fans, “You can see how tired I am here, but I’m still moving!!” In 2017, she wrote a heartfelt caption on her Instagram, where she announced that she was in remission.
Now, three years later, Doherty admits she has days when she asks – why me? “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,” said Doherty during her interview with Robach.
Breast cancer recurrence can take place within months or years after a patient’s initial treatment. The goal of preliminary treatment is to completely destroy all cancer cells, but sometimes certain cancer cells go undetected and are able to withstand surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatment and/or hormone therapy. These surviving cells can remain dormant for a period of time, after which they once again begin to grow, multiply and form recurrent breast cancer, either at the same site as the initial cancer or in a different area of the body.
At the conclusion of a patient’s initial breast cancer treatment, a physician will usually recommend a schedule for follow-up to check for signs of breast cancer recurrence. Additionally, it’s very important for a breast cancer survivor to continue to perform monthly self-exams, be watchful for symptoms and consult with a physician promptly if anything is out of the ordinary or questionable.