Shannen Doherty is giving her followers a no-holds-barred look inside her battle with cancer.
The 52-year-old Beverly Hills, 90210, alum— who revealed earlier this month that her stage IV breast cancer had spread to her brain — shared an Instagram video on Wednesday, June 14, of herself prepping for brain surgery in January.
“January 16, 2023. Surgery. I had a tumor in my head they wanted to remove and also biopsy. I am clearly trying to be brave but I am petrified,” the Heathers actress captioned the candid video, in which she speaks to — and jokes with — medical staff before the operation. “The fear was overwhelming to me. Scared of all possible bad outcomes, worried about leaving my mom and how that would impact her. Worried that I would come out of surgery not me anymore. This is what cancer can look like.”
Doherty’s video instantly made a profound impact on fans, who commended the actress for her honesty and candor.
“There will be people seeing this who are going through their own journey or know somebody who is. Those people will feel less alone, because of you,” one follower wrote in the comments section. “It’s those, ‘scared’ moments that make us what we are. Human.”
Another person penned: “This is absolutely amazing. I’m so glad you decided to put this out there. Everyone always says we are fighters and to a point that’s true but really what choice do we have. We have to do what we have to do. You are a true inspiration for showing the real bullsh%t that goes with cancer. It’s not all pink ribbons and fundraising walks. Thank you!!!!!!!”
The Charmed alum’s video comes shortly after she revealed her cancer had spread throughout her body.
“On January 5th, my ct scan showed Mets in my brain. January 12, the first round of radiation took place. My fear is obvious. I am extremely claustrophobic and there was a lot going on in my life,” Doherty wrote via Instagram on June 6. “I am fortunate as I have great doctors like Dr Amin Mirahdi and the amazing techs at cedar sinai. But that fear…. The turmoil….. the timing of it all…. This is what cancer can look like.”
Doherty was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. After undergoing chemotherapy, she announced she was in remission two years later. In February 2020, however, the Mallrats star announced that her cancer had returned — and worsened.
“I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways,” she told Good Morning America at the time.
Earlier this year, Doherty went viral after she called out SAG-AFTRA — and current president Fran Drescher — for “abandon[ing]” her healthcare needs.
“@Officialfrandrescher I’m curious for people like me who have worked since they were 10 and paid dues to @sagaftra how when we aren’t able to work for health reasons why our union abandons us,” she wrote via Instagram in March 2023. “I think we can do better for all our members and I think you’re [the] person to do it.”
She added: “Health insurance shouldn’t be based on annual income. It’s a lifetime contribution. And for me and many others, we have paid a lifetime of dues to only be canceled because we don’t meet your current criteria. Not OK.”
As her condition developed, Doherty shared her “ultimate, ultimate dream” for “more research and progression as far as finding the cure for cancer.”
“You don’t want stage IV [cancer], but I have it and so I think in the back of my mind, this constant sort of ‘OK, what can I do to help bring more awareness, what can I do the help raise money, what can I do to sort of push research for not just myself but for everybody else who is suffering from cancer?’” she told Entertainment Tonight in December 2021.