Shannen Doherty reveals breast cancer has spread to her brain

‘My fear is obvious... this is what cancer can look like,’ says Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed star

Shannen Doherty has revealed that the terminal breast cancer she has been receiving treatment for over several years has now spread to her brain.

In an emotional post on Instagram, Doherty shared a video of herself receiving radiation treatment, writing in the caption that a scan in early January had revealed “Mets”, or metastasis, in her brain.

The 52-year-old actor, known for her roles in television series including Charmed and Beverly Hills, 90210, wrote in the caption: “My fear is obvious. I am extremely claustrophobic and there was a lot going on in my life. But that fear ... The turmoil….. the timing of it all ... This is what cancer can look like.”

Doherty’s announcement received an outpouring of support from celebrities and fans.


“This is a lot to take on, still again,” actor and friend Selma Blair wrote. “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.”

“Rooting for you, my irreplaceable friend,” said Kevin Smith, who directed her in the 1995 film Mallrats. “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.”

“You are a warrior,” wrote actor Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Doherty was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015; she underwent a mastectomy and received chemotherapy and radiation treatment. She announced she was in remission in 2017, then revealed three years later that she had been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways,” she said in a 2020 interview on Good Morning America of her second diagnosis.

“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.’”

She said she had tried to keep her second diagnosis secret while filming the 90210 reboot, saying, “People with stage four can work too. Like, you know, our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do.”

Doherty has documented her various diagnoses and treatments on social media to raise awareness, including a photo of herself with no hair and a nosebleed. “I hope I encourage people to get mammograms, to get regular check-ups, to cut thru [sic] the fear and face whatever might be in front of you,” she wrote.