Celebrity Health

Shannen Doherty Discusses Her Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Shannen Doherty Discusses Her Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Since the public reveal of her diagnosis in August of 2015, Shannen Doherty, the actress best known for her roles as ‘Brenda Walsh’ on Beverly Hills 90210 and ‘Prue Halliwell’ on Charmed, has grabbed the media’s attention for her complicated battle with breast cancer. Now, three years later, on a path towards recovery, Doherty reveals raw and emotional moments in her journey with cancer.

Diagnosis revealed through a lawsuit

News about Doherty’s breast cancer diagnosis made headlines in August of 2015 after she filed a lawsuit, suing her former business manager. Doherty claimed that the firm ‘Tanner Mainstain Glynn & Johnson’ failed to pay an invoice for her medical insurance premiums in the year 2014. This, in turn, caused her insurance to be canceled until the following year. Once Doherty had her insurance back, it was discovered that she had invasive breast cancer metastatic to at least one lymph node. She was told that her cancer had spread sometime around 2014 and had she been insured at the time, it would have been detected and treated at an early stage. 

In May of 2016, Doherty underwent a mastectomy and three months following her surgery, she opened up about the actions that her doctor took to make sure that she was comfortable with her body post-surgery. “He didn’t want me to wake up with absolutely nothing. It was very important to him that I didn’t have that experience, and so he put an expander in so I have a tiny something there,” she said. Doherty also opened up about the devastation that she experienced when getting sized for new bras following her surgery. “It was traumatic and horrible, and I didn’t think anything of it at the time, then my mom went with me and I broke down crying in the dressing room and ran out and then I sat in the car crying,” she said. 

Not out of the woods yet

Despite undergoing a mastectomy and spending a year and a half battling the disease, the actress revealed that her cancer had spread. “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,” she said. For the Hollywood beauty, the scariest part of the entire experience was the ‘unknown’ in her battle with the deadly disease. “Is the chemo going to work? Is the radiation going to work? You know, am I going to have to go through this again, or am I going to get secondary cancer?” asked Doherty. She also went on to stress that while pain and living without a breast is manageable, it is the fear for one’s future and how the future is going to impact loved ones that raises constant concern of the unknown. “You worry most about the people that you love and making sure that they are going to be okay. For me, that was the hardest part,” she said.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons