The 52-year-old actor gave the update about her health during an interview with People, published on 29 November. After candidly stating that she doesn’t “want to die,” she shared that her breast cancer has now spread to her bones.
According to Doherty, despite the health update, she plans to keep fighting the disease by continuing to receive cancer treatment. “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 was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, before announcing in April 2017 that she was in remission. However, the cancer returned two years later, and she announced her stage four breast cancer diagnosis in 2020. In June of this year, she also shared a video on Instagram of the brain radiation treatment she was receiving, while revealing her cancer had spread to her brain.
Speaking to People, the 90210 star reflected on some of her thoughts after receiving her cancer diagnosis in 2020.
“When you ask yourself: ‘Why me? Why did I get cancer?’ and then ‘Why did my cancer come back? Why am I stage four?’ That leads you to look for the bigger purpose in life,” Doherty explained.
She also shared her hope to get more involved in developing clinical trials as new forms of treatment for breast cancer are created. Doherty added that, as gets treated, she still intends on “moving forward” with her life, which includes continuing to work.
“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.”
As she expressed how grateful she is for her family and friends, Doherty also acknowledged that, despite her ongoing health battle, her “greatest memory is yet to come”. She then emphasised her hope to live her life in the way she pleases.
“I pray. I wake up and go to bed thanking God, praying for the things that matter to me without asking for too much,” she said. “It connects me to a higher power and spirituality. My faith is my mantra.”
The Charmed star also revealed that she has become more grateful for the fact that she’s alive since her cancer diagnosis. “I know it sounds cheesy and crazy, but you’re just more aware of everything, and you feel so blessed,” she said. “We’re the people who want to work the most, because we’re just so grateful for every second, every hour, every day we get to be here.”
During an appearance on Good Morning America in February 2020, The Beverly Hills, 90210 star first revealed that she had stage four breast cancer.
“My cancer came back and...that’s why I’m here,” she said on the show, as she noted that she kept her stage four diagnosis private for a year. “I don’t think that I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”
She’s continued to speak honestly about her disease since then, as she posted candid pictures of her battle with breast cancer to social media in October 2021. In one picture, Doherty, who had lost her hair, had a blood-soaked tissue in one nostril while lying in her bed.
“For breast cancer awareness month, I’d like to share more of my own personal journey from my first diagnosis to my second,” she wrote in the caption. “Is it all pretty? NO but it’s truthful and my hope in sharing is that we all become more educated, more familiar with what cancer looks like. I hope I encourage people to get mammograms, to get regular checkups, to cut through the fear and face whatever might be in front of you.”