Shannen Doherty Shocked By Actual Cancer Test Results
But like most cancer survivors, Doherty endures ongoing testing and monitoring to identify if the cancer returns. This is what we know today. Page six is when everything changed.
1. Doherty revealed she had breast cancer
In 2016, Doherty told ET about her devastating diagnosis. “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.”
Next: She tracked her journey.
2. She posted candidly about the toll cancer took on her
Through images and words, Doherty tracked her journey through chemo and radiation. She lost her hair and posted images of having her head shaved. Doherty also posted images of the hard days she endured during chemotherapy treatments.
Next: Doherty stayed strong, but was still worried.
3. Facing the unknown is always frightening
Like most cancer fighters, Doherty wondered if the treatment would work. “The unknown is always the scariest part. Is the chemo going to work? Is the radiation going to work?” she told ET. “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.”
Next: Doherty says she’s in remission.
4. Remission was sweet success
Doherty triumphed over breast cancer, posting this emotional message when she found out she was in remission: “Moments. They happen. Today was and is a moment. What does remission mean? I heard that word and have no idea how to react. Good news? YES. Overwhelming. YES. Now more waiting. As every single one of my fellow cancer family knows, the next five years is crucial.”
Next: Scary information at a recent follow-up.
5. But a new test was concerning
Doherty announced a recent test came back with an elevated tumor marker, Today reports. One tumor marker came back normal but another marker came back elevated. She said she was staying positive but clearly the information stopped her in her tracks. “It certainly helps put things in perspective and reminds you of what you learned thru the cancer journey. And I sometimes, need a refresher,” she wrote in an Instagram post, which has since been deleted. “As I’ve said before, cancer changes your life in ways no one could ever imagine.”
Next: She talks to her doctor for confirmation.
6. Then, she receives this bombshell
Doherty worried about the elevated tumor marker only to discover her PET scan was clear! She did not receive the initial results from her physician and the elevated marker was one that could be erratic and wasn’t even specific to Doherty’s cancer.
She posted this video and message: “Still in remission. I imagine that I’ll always worry to a certain extent but I think we all worry about something. Cancer is a beast that changes one. For me, it changed me in a lot of beautiful ways. But it also gave me a new level of anxiety about things. All understandable. I share my experience to help connect, bring awareness and hopefully encourage those going thru cancer to stay positive.”
Next: Doherty still needs to remain vigilant.
7. The future remains uncertain
Although the five year survival/remission rate is typically used as the gold standard for determining whether cancer will recur or not, Breast Cancer.org reports breast cancer recurrence is unique to each woman’s situation. While breast cancer may recur after the five year mark, a growing number of women are surpassing that milestone thanks to early detection and better treatments.
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