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EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Oz Talks Shannen Doherty's Emotional Battle With Illness: Her Decision Not to Have Her Cancer Removed Yet Is 'Most Stunning'

by Rachel McRady 12:27 PM PST, February 19, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Oz Talks Shannen Doherty's Emotional Battle With Illness: Her Decision Not to Have Her Cancer Removed Yet Is 'Most Stunning'

For Shannen Doherty, opening up about her breast cancer battle hasn't been easy. The 90210 alum, 44, got candid with Dr. Mehmet Oz earlier this week as she struggles to make the decision between a mastectomy and a lumpectomy to remove her cancer.

"Shannen is juggling those two decisions -- neither one is perfect but both are acceptable, as long as the cancer comes out," Dr. Oz tells ET of his recent interview with Doherty. "The part of Shannen's story that's most stunning to me is that she's had that cancer in her breast for over a year and hasn't had it taken out yet – [the] cancer's still in there."

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On The Dr. Oz Show on Thursday, the actress did confirm that she plans to undergo surgery to take out the tumor that was found in March 2015.

"She has decided to have the breast cancer to removed surgically, and that is a big decision for a woman… It was really up to Shannen to decide she was ready to go through an operation she feared would be disfiguring," Dr. Oz tells ET. "Shannen was very transparent about what's going on in her breast -- she has cancer on one side, it's a big tumor -- it has spread to the lymph nodes on that side, but we don't have any evidence that it's gone any further than that."

The medical expert thinks the Doherty will likely have a full recovery.

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"Thankfully, if we aggressively can treat it, we can save Shannen's life, and her doctors are superb and they're all over that decision," Dr. Oz says.

Doherty openly spoke about her difficult decision with Dr. Oz on Thursday, saying, "Ultimately, they're just breasts, right? I mean, I love them, they're mine, they're beautiful, but in the grand scheme of things, I would rather be alive, and I would rather grow old with my husband."

Though Dr. Oz is concerned that Doherty has waited this long to medically treat her condition, he understands what has stopped her from taking action.

"She had to come to grips with the fear -- sometimes that fear has paralyzed her over the past year," he says. "That's why a bright woman has sat with a cancer in her breast for that long. We run from the things we fear -- I think she's embracing it now."

Photo: Dr. Oz
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