Shannen Doherty Says Her Stage IV Breast Cancer Is ‘Part of Life at This Point’

Shannen Doherty has been open about every step of her experience with breast cancer since her diagnosis in 2015. And now that her cancer has returned and is stage IV, Doherty shared that the disease is simply a part of her life. 

“My husband [photographer Kurt Iswarienko] says that you would never know that I have cancer,” Doherty, 50, said during a virtual panel in support of her upcoming move List of a Lifetime, per People. “I never really complain. I don’t really talk about it. It’s part of life at this point.”

In fact, Doherty said she wishes more people understood that people with stage IV cancer are capable of living normal lives. “I feel like I have a responsibility in my more public life, which I separate from my acting life…to talk about cancer and perhaps educate people more and let people know that people with stage IV are very much alive and very active,” she said, according to People.

Doherty first revealed her cancer diagnosis in 2015 and shared that her cancer went into remission in 2017. But in February 2020, Doherty said her cancer had returned and it was stage IV, meaning that it had likely spread to other parts of her body. 

Of course, different people have different experiences with cancer depending on the type, stage, and other factors. The symptoms of cancer at this advanced stage are typically related to where the cancer is in the body, the National Cancer Institute explains. For instance, someone whose cancer has spread to their lungs may have shortness of breath, and symptoms such as headaches and dizziness may be caused by cancer in the brain. But stage IV cancer (also called metastatic cancer) doesn’t always come with noticeable symptoms, and, again, everyone’s experience can be different.

In Doherty’s new movie, List of a Lifetime, the main character is diagnosed with breast cancer, reconnects with her daughter, and makes a bucket list. But Doherty isn’t interested in making bucket lists of her own. “I’m very much like there’s no bucket list because I’m going to be the longest-living person with cancer,” she said. “If I had to say one, it would just be living. That’s the only thing on my list at this point.”


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