Shannen Doherty says stage 4 cancer has spread to her bones

Though stage 4 breast cancer has spread to her bones, Shannen Doherty says her best days are still ahead.

The 52-year-old actor who is best known for her role as Brenda Walsh in the 1990s blockbuster hit 90210, told People magazine she remains optimistic as she fights the disease she was first diagnosed with in 2015.

“I’m not done with living. I’m not done with loving. I’m not done with creating. I’m not done with hopefully changing things for the better,” she said. “I’m just not — I’m not done.”

Doherty added: “I don’t want to die.”

In 2017, Doherty wrote on Instagram that she was in remission. But two years later, People reported the cancer was back. In 2020, Doherty disclosed she had stage 4 cancer.

“When you ask yourself, ‘Why me? Why did I get cancer?’ and then ‘Why did my cancer come back? Why am I stage 4?,’ that leads you to look for the bigger purpose in life,” Doherty told the magazine.

Doherty said she wants to make it known that people with terminal cancer are capable of living quality lives — and she’s determined to do so herself.

“People just assume that it means you can’t walk, you can’t eat, you can’t work. They put you out to pasture at a very early age —‘You’re done, you’re retired,’ and we’re not,” she said. “We’re vibrant, and we have such a different outlook on life. We are people who want to work and embrace life and keep moving forward.”

She said she’ll discuss her illness, along with other aspects of her life — her career, the ups and downs of her friendships, personal relationships — in a memoir-style podcast: “Let’s Be Clear with Shannen Doherty.” It is set to premiere Dec. 7 on iHeartRadio.

Doherty, who also told People she hopes to partake in new treatments through clinical trials, said every day is a reason to be grateful.

“My greatest memory is yet to come,” she said. “I pray. I wake up and go to bed thanking God, praying for the things that matter to me without asking for too much. It connects me to a higher power and spirituality. My faith is my mantra.”

Antonio Planas

Antonio Planas is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital. 

Diana Dasrath

Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.

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