Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer
- Actress Shannen Doherty is currently living with metastatic breast cancer, meaning it has spread to other areas of her body. But at a recent appearance for a ’90s themed entertainment convention, she said she was “feeling great.”
- Two “Charmed” alums also took time during the convention to share how inspired they were by Doherty’s strength and resilience.
- Stage four, or metastatic, breast cancer is hard to treat, but advancements are being made. The recent reclassification of some breast cancers as as HER2 “low,” for example, has expanded the use of current game-changing treatment options to more metastatic patients.
Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 after discovering a lump in her breast. She was initially treated with hormone therapy, but this effort turned out to be ineffective since the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.Read More
“I’m feeling great, thank you!” she reportedly said during the panel. “This crowd is amazing!”
She also made a point to talk about her “Charmed” character, Prue Halliwell, and share how she relates to her strength.
“Prue was a very, very, very strong woman. I was a really strong woman. I played her as that. And I think that did have a definitive impression upon a lot of younger women who were watching the show, to grow up with that sort of inner strength and to help their families and take care of their families,” Doherty said. “We’re very much about empowering women and empowering women within the show.”
Shannen Doherty Inspires Her Former Co-Stars
Shannen Doherty has inspired cancer survivors everywhere with her resilience. But her former co-stars have also been moved by her example of strength.
“She’s amazing. She’s a f–king warrior,” actor Drew Fuller, 42, exclusively told E! News at 90s Con 2023. “She is so cool and calm and powerful. I’m in awe of her strength, and I’m constantly inspired by her.”
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Brian Krause, 54, another “Charmed” alumni, added that Doherty taught him “that you got to keep throwing punches.”
“I think she’s underestimating how strong she is and strong-willed and determined,” Krause said. “She’s an inspiration, for sure.”
Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer
Shannen Doherty is currently battling stage four, or metastatic, breast cancer. Having metastatic breast cancer means the disease has spread, or metastasized, beyond the breasts to other parts of the body. It most commonly spreads to the bones, liver and lungs, but it may also spread to the brain or other organs.
There is technically no cure for metastatic breast cancer, but there are a wide variety of treatments used to battle the disease including hormone therapy, chemotherapy, targeted drugs, immunotherapy and a combination of various treatments.
“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,” SurvivorNet advisor Dr. Elizabeth Comen, an oncologist with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said about metastatic breast cancer management. “I treat women day in and day out who have metastatic breast cancer, and I see the fear in their eyes, and I also see the hope in their eyes.
“And I share in that hope. Why do I share in that hope? Because I have so many patients who are living with their cancer… It isn’t just about living, but living well.”
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Ongoing advances in treatment are also giving metastatic breast cancer patients reasons to be hopeful.
During an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Dr. Comen explained how the recent reclassification of some breast cancers as HER2 “low” can make a huge impact on advanced breast cancer treatment.
The Major Change That Every Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient Should Get Tested For– SurvivorNet Adviser Dr. Elizabeth Comen On ‘GMA’
“One of the most challenging types of cancer to treat is metastatic breast cancer,” Dr. Comen said. “And a new treatment, an FDA approved treatment, called Enhertu or T-DXd is being used to improve the survival of patients with a new classification of metastatic breast cancer called HER2-low metastatic breast cancer.”
“So, for anybody watching if they or their loved one has metastatic breast cancer, it’s critical that they ask their doctor, ‘Do I have HER2-low breast cancer and might this be an appropriate treatment for me?”
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