Shannen Doherty, known for her role as Brenda in Beverly Hills 90210, has revealed on Monday that her breast cancer has spread.

45-year-old Doherty stated on Entertainment Tonight that she was suffering from breast cancer and that there is a high possibility that the cancer cells have spread to her lymph nodes. The actress is to undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Shannen Doherty was diagnosed with the disease back in February 2015. So far, she has been submitted to three chemotherapy sessions.

Shannen Doherty's breast cancer has spread. Image Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Shannen Doherty’s breast cancer has spread. Image Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A deadly disease that may affect any woman the same

Doherty expressed her fear about not knowing what’s going to happen in the following weeks. She asserted that there is no indication whether the chemotherapy or the radiation therapy will work, or if she will develop secondary cancer. Although she acknowledges that she can fight through her treatments, living with uncertainty about her future has been a burden since she posted photos of herself cutting her hair off after being diagnosed. She also revealed that she had undergone a single mastectomy.

“Pain is manageable, you know living without a breast is manageable, it’s the worry of your future and how your future is going to affect the people that you love,” she stated in an interview.

In spite of having to fight a terrible disease, the support Doherty has received from friends, doctors and family allowed her to fight on up to this point. She said that having to fill her bra made a great impact on her life, but the thought of thousands of women having to go through the same circumstances made her stronger and kept her going forward.

Doherty remembered filling out her bra alongside her mom, who started crying and ran to the car. She now assures that they can laugh about it now.

After her second chemotherapy session, she saw that her hair just fell down as she tried to brush it. She had her mom grab the kitchen scissors and cut the remainder of her famously thick and glossy hair.

Chemotherapy and hair loss

Chemotherapy oftentimes causes fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, stomach pain and burning sensation on fingers and toes. It can also cause permanent nerve damage, but doctors usually prescribe drugs to relieve the pain.

Other side effects of chemotherapy include diarrhea, nausea, constipation, blood disorders, infertility, appetite loss, and finally, hair loss. Most types of chemotherapy cause hair loss all over the body. This is mostly seen after the first couple of weeks after starting regular chemotherapy sessions. The loss of hair is also known as alopecia, and in many cases, it is known to grow back after treatment has ended.

In the case of radiation therapy, the hair will only fall from where the radiation is pointed at. The amount of lost hair depends on the person, as it has been proven that people undergoing the same treatment for the same type of cancer lose hair at different rates. Even if the patient has lost all of its hair, doctors believe that after six or twelve months it may regrow to its full length.

Source: Entertainment Online