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Shannen Doherty reveals cancer has spread to her brain: 'My fear is obvious'

'The turmoil….. the timing of it all…. This is what cancer can look like,' 90210 star shared in heartbreaking social media post

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Shannen Doherty has revealed that her breast cancer has now spread to her brain.

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The Beverly Hills, 90210 star shared the news with her Instagram followers as she tearfully posted a video of herself going through “the process of getting fitted for the mask which you wear during radiation to your brain.”

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“January 12, 2023. On January 5th, my ct scan showed (the cancer metastisized) in my brain,” Doherty, 52, wrote on Instagram. “January 12, the first round of radiation took place. My fear is obvious. I am extremely claustrophobic and there was a lot going on in my life. I am fortunate as I have great doctors like Dr. Amin Mirahdi and the amazing techs at Cedar Sinai. But that fear…. The turmoil….. the timing of it all…. This is what cancer can look like.”

Doherty’s friend Selma Blair, who is battling multiple sclerosis, commented on the post: “This is a lot to take on, still again. And I am wishing for all the wise peace you have learned to find you in the terror moments. To know we are holding you. Love. All love.”

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Sarah Michelle Gellar called Doherty a “warrior,” with writer-director Kevin Smith, who cast Doherty in 2005’s Mallrats, adding: “Rooting for you, my irreplaceable friend. You have been such a fearless fighter your whole life, so it’s understandable to be a little scared from time to time. But when those moments pass, let that indomitable Doherty spirit take over anew. I love you so much, my Mallrat.

Doherty was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, but she announced that she had gone into remission two years later. In 2020, the Charmed star announced the cancer had returned and was stage 4.

“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,” Doherty said during a sitdown with Good Morning America in 2020.

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After going public with her stage 4 diagnosis, Doherty told Variety in 2021 that her goal was to prove to Hollywood that people with cancer could still work. “The best example that I can continue to set for other people with cancer, and to the outside world who doesn’t have cancer,” Doherty said, “is to show them what a cancer patient looks like. We are employable.”

That year, Doherty filmed three back-to-back projects. “Stage 4 cancer, it doesn’t mean the end of your life,” she said at the time. “It doesn’t mean that you’re not viable in the workplace. It’s quite the opposite.”

In a separate interview with Kelly Clarkson, Doherty opened up about how people believed she had passed her peak when she revealed her diagnosis, even though she is “a better actor” than ever before thanks to the new “wealth of emotions” she can tap into.

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“People with stage 4 get written off immediately. They get written off by insurance companies, they get written off by doctors, they get written off by your boss — and in truth, I think when you have something like this happen to you, you’re probably an even harder worker than you ever were. And for me, as an actor, I now have such a wealth of emotions to dig in and tap into for my acting,” she said.

Throughout her cancer fight, Doherty has candidly documented her health battles with her followers on social media.

In 2017, she posted a throwback video which showed the actress having her head shaved.

“I’m happy with the little Twiggy haircut (I have) at the moment,” she said of the shorter style. “I’m rocking it… I get ready in, like, five minutes, so it’s fantastic.”

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In October 2021, she posted a selfie in bed to mark breast cancer awareness month.

“For breast cancer awareness month, I’d like to share more of my own personal journey from my first diagnosis to my second. Is it all pretty? NO but it’s truthful,” she wrote.

“I hope I encourage people to get mammograms, to get regular checkups, to cut thru (sic) the fear and face whatever might be in front of you.”

In April, Doherty filed for divorce from her husband, Kurt Iswarienko, after 11 years of marriage.

“Divorce is the last thing Shannen wanted,” her publicist Leslie Sloane said in a statement. “Unfortunately, she felt she was left with no other option.”

mdaniell@postmedia.com

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