Shannen Doherty's Inspiring Work Ethic
- Actress Shannen Doherty is living with metastatic breast cancer and in a new interview, she says she’s doing “great” and continues to love working in showbusiness; she has filmed multiple movies this year and 2022 marks her 40th year as a film actress.
- Doherty was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015; and in 2020, she announced her cancer was back and that it had spread to other parts of her body.
- Working through cancer can help to take your mind off of your health challenges and help to normalize an otherwise-abnormal situation.
Doherty has filmed three movies back-to-back this year, and hasn’t let cancer slow her down in the slightest. She’s appearing in the new film Hot Seat starring Mel Gibson, and she recently acted alongside Bruce Willis, which she called “exciting.” Doherty plays a “badass general” in the movie with Willis, and their characters share a romantic moment together. Reflecting on her co-star, Doherty tells ET, “I find him to be very soft-spoken. You’re instantly drawn to him,” she says.
Next year marks the 40th year since Doherty’s first film role, which she had as a child when she voiced the animated character of Theresa in The Secret of NIMH cartoon feature based on the book series. “That film is very special, and it taught me so much,” she tells ET.
Doherty’s 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 had spread to her lymph nodes. Doherty underwent a single mastectomy and also had chemotherapy and radiation. After going into remission, she announced in February 2020 that her cancer returned, and this time it had spread to other parts of her body.
Surgery, like the kind Doherty had (a single mastectomy), is a common treatment path for many people fighting breast cancer. In an earlier interview, Dr. Ann Partridge, an oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute explains the path to surgery.
She says, “So when I talk to a woman who comes to me and she has breast cancer, I evaluate what the standard options for treatment for her are, which typically include cutting out the cancer– which is either a lumpectomy if you can get it all with just a little scooping around of the area that’s abnormal or a mastectomy for some women meaning taking the full breast because sometimes these lesions can be very extensive in the breast.”
Working Through Cancer
Many people continue working – and thriving in their jobs – even after a cancer diagnosis. Depending on the stage of your cancer at the time it’s diagnosed, and depending on your treatment path, you may find that your cancer has little impact on your day-to-day professional life.
People like Doherty prove that it’s possible to thrive professionally even while going through a cancer diagnosis and treatment. If you decide to scale back on work – or even leave your job entirely – during cancer, that’s perfectly acceptable. Do what feels right for you. A social worker or counselor can help you determine the best course of action as you move through life as a cancer fighter.