Living With Breast Cancer
- Actress and breast cancer fighter Shannen Doherty, 51, is letting fans know that she is a fan of football, specifically, the L.A. Rams and their general manager, Les Snead.
- The Malibu-based TV star is currently fighting metastatic breast cancer; Doherty was first diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and beat the disease after treatment, but it recurred as stage 4 in 2019.
- Support and self-love through cancer is an important part of the journey, particularly as you experience physical changes that may accompany some treatments, like surgery and chemotherapy.
The stage 4 survivor, who has been fighting metastatic breast cancer since 2019, sported a Los Angeles Rams shirt with the Super Bowl champs’ general manager Les Snead’s face on it.Read More
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According to Sports Illustrated, the shirt is a nod to the “12 picks” he traded ahead of and during the 2021 championship season. Snead wore the same shirt for the team’s post-Bowl rally in Los Angeles, and now Doherty is proudly rocking it out on a rocky beach.
“I am so happy seeing you updating your account. I admire so much!” One fan wrote. “Keep rocking, girl!” Another supporter messaged how much of an “inspiration” the “stylish star” is to her.
The Malibu resident—who has been married to celebrity photographer Kurt Iswarienko, 47, since 2011—posted a recent selfie looking relaxed at a similar beach location in sunglasses. “Current situation,” she wrote with a soft, close-mouthed smile.
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The photo, in its simplicity, seems to say quite a lot more. These reassuring little glimpses of Doherty give fans comfort, and hopefully their comments do as well for the cancer warrior.
“You are so strong,” an encouraging fan reacted. “Such an example for everyone. God bless.”
Sharing your cancer journey at first can be quite daunting, especially on social media, though people in the cancer community often wind up realizing how comforting it truly can be to have an army of supporters virtually by your side. On top of having supportive friends and family, it can feel like quite a blessing, especially for those who feel they do not have close friends or family. Nine times out of ten, there are people out there who are ready to embrace you and lift you up along the way.
Shannen’s Breast Cancer Battle
Doherty was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 after finding a lump in her breast which turned out to be cancerous. She had hormone therapy to fight her cancer, but it was ineffective and the cancer unfortunately spread to her lymph nodes. For treatment, Doherty had chemotherapy and radiation, and also underwent a single mastectomy. Her cancer went into remission, but she announced in February 2020 that her cancer returned the previous year, and had spread to other parts of her body.
Fans were understandably shocked, but have been so encouraged by how strong Doherty has been while now thriving with cancer. Doherty has been working, traveling, and enjoying time with friends, frequently sharing updates with her concerned community, who all seem to collectively breathe a sigh of relief that she is continuing to live a very full life, which gives other stage 4 survivors hope.
With advanced disease, the goal of treatment is to keep you as stable as possible, slow the tumor growth and improve your quality of life.
Stage four breast cancer specifically means that your cancer has now spread to distant areas of the body. It is no longer regionalized to the breast. And while there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, doctors have a lot of options to treat this stage of advanced disease. These include hormone therapy, chemotherapy and targeted drugs.
The Importance of Mammograms and Cancer Screenings
Screening for breast cancer is highly important, especially if you have a history of the disease in your family. When it comes to breast cancer, a mammogram is the most common screening method. Many experts say that women should start their mammograms at age 40, though it has recently been argued that it should be more like 35.
For women with an elevated risk of breast cancer, for example, if they have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation—they should begin screening even earlier. BRCA1 and BRCA2 can increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancers.
While getting a mammogram, also make sure to ask about dense breasts, which can obscure cancer and will most likely prompt your care team to be extra careful about reviewing your results, which is a good thing.
Breast cancer is very common, so if you have really been diagnosed, don’t panic. Millions of women out there have beat the disease, and many with an advanced stage of the disease are living longer and much fuller lives, like Shannen Doherty. Be sure to schedule your “mammo” today!