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Shannen Doherty's cancer has spread

Published 01/08/2016

Shannen Doherty
Shannen Doherty

The star hopes to help others battling similar health issues.

Actress Shannen Doherty fears for her future after revealing her breast cancer has spread.

The former Beverly Hills, 90210 star confirmed she was fighting for her life a year ago (Aug15) and in May (16), she underwent a mastectomy to remove one of her breasts.

Last month (Jul16), Shannen, who was diagnosed with the disease in February, 2015, posted images of herself shaving off her hair as she undergoes treatment, and she admits the chemotherapy is only getting more intense as doctors try to tackle the cancer.

In an emotional and candid interview with U.S. news show Entertainment Tonight, which airs on Monday (01Aug16), Shannen shares, "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. So for that reason, we are doing chemo, and then after chemo, I'll do radiation."

"The unknown is always the scariest part," she added. "Is the chemo going to work? Is the radiation going to work? 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."

The 45-year-old has been left seriously weakened by the ordeal, which has robbed her of her appetite, and she has been relying heavily on her husband, film producer Kurt Iswarienko, to carry her around the house and transport her to her doctors' appointments.

"You're throwing up every single second," she explained. "After my first treatment I lost 10 pounds, instantly. You're throwing up and the last thing you want to do is be in a car. You don't want to be moved, you can't eat... There's nothing going in my body, it's all going out."

Shannen has also had to get used to her new body following her mastectomy, but one attempt at a bra fitting left her in tears.

"It was traumatic and horrible, and I didn't think anything of it at the time," she recalled. "Then my mum went with me and I broke down crying in the dressing room and ran out. And then (I) sat in the car crying."

The actress is trying to remain positive, and she hopes opening up about her own cancer battle will provide some comfort for others going through similar health crises.

"If I could help one person then it makes me go, 'Oh OK.' It's easier to live with having cancer if I know I'm helping at least one person," she concluded.

Shannen blames her former business managers for preventing her from catching the disease earlier on because they failed to pay her health insurance. She took legal action against them last year (15), which is how her cancer battle was made public.

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