Shannen Doherty says stage 4 breast cancer is just 'part of life at this point'

Shannen Doherty won’t let stage 4 breast cancer slow her down.

“I feel like I have a responsibility in my more public life, which I separate from my acting life … to talk about cancer and perhaps educate people more and let people know that people with stage 4 are very much alive and very active,” she told People.

“My husband says that you would never know that I have cancer,” she said about photographer Kurt Iswarienko. “I never really complain. I don’t really talk about it. It’s part of life at this point.”

The former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 before it went into remission in 2017. She announced in early 2020 that it had returned, as stage 4.

Last September, Doherty, 49, rejected the idea that her life is over because of her cancer.

“It’s like anybody with Stage IV faces this sort of thing, where others want to put you out to pasture,” she told Elle magazine. “I’m not ready for pasture. I’ve got a lot of life in me.”

She echoed that sentiment a month later when she spoke with friend Sarah Michelle Gellar for an “Entertainment Tonight” interview.

“I love it when people say, ‘We’re praying for you,’ and everything else, but there comes a point when you’re like, ‘I got this. I’m fine. I’m good,’” Doherty said. “There are a lot of people in the world who could use prayers, and I’m feeling great. … I’m doing OK. I’m doing better than OK. I’m doing well. I feel strong and healthy and confident and happy.”

Doherty is proving that she still plans to keep living her life. She stars in the upcoming Lifetime movie “List of a Lifetime,” which is about a woman (played by Kelly Hu) diagnosed with breast cancer who decides to track down the daughter she gave up for adoption.

Doherty, who says the project is “the first acting thing I’ve done about cancer,” didn’t use her health to help her co-stars. 

“I didn’t have to give anybody advice because (of director Roxy Shih) and these beautiful ladies who did such a beautiful job with their own preparation process,” she said.

In the movie, Hu’s character creates a bucket list. That’s not something Doherty intends to do.

“I just think a bucket list is odd in my particular situation because it means that I’m sort of trying to check things off before my time runs out,” she said.

“I’m very much like there’s no bucket list because I’m going to be the longest-living person with cancer. If I had to say one, it would just be living. That’s the only thing on my list at this point.”

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