How Shannen Doherty's Cancer Has Made Her a Better Actor (Exclusive)

Shannen Doherty
Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

Shannen Doherty has a new lease on life.

The 47-year-old actress was feeling emotional at the Stand Up to Cancer event at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, on Friday, telling ET's Lauren Zima that she's more appreciative of the blessings in her life, and has become a better actor because of it.

"It's the best time in the world for me to be an actor because I'm so in touch with every single emotion," Doherty, who revealed in April of 2017 that her breast cancer was in remission, said through tears. When asked why she was so emotional, Doherty, who was accompanied by a friend on the red carpet, replied: "It's maybe a little bit of fear, but it's also this overwhelming feeling of gratefulness and just humility. And I think the humility really is what knocks you on your feet the most and brings forth those tears. It's also the fear that anybody else is going to go through it."

Shannen Doherty Stand Up To Cancer
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Doherty was first diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2015 and later told ET that her cancer had spread, which resulted in her having to undergo several rounds of chemotherapy as well as a single mastectomy. Now in remission, Doherty she has a new outlook on life.

"I hate to be the person who goes, 'Oh my God, the sky is so blue all of the sudden.' But you really start noticing a lot more things around you, and appreciating everything," she said at the event.

In May, the former Charmed star had reconstructive surgery for a mastectomy she had more than two years ago, around the time she announced her diagnosis. During ET's interview with Doherty, she went into detail about having to gain weight for her procedure and the hardships she endured.

"I'm having a little bit of a hard time getting [the weight] off. It was for my particular surgery that I chose," she explained. "I didn't have any extra skin, so I had to gain weight to stretch the skin for my surgery. [The plastic surgeon] said seven pounds would be good, but then I've always kind of been an overachiever. And I've always really wanted to please the teacher, so I went 10. I was like, 'OK, you need seven? I'll give you 10. I'll be that girl for you.' It was definitely interesting walking around like that, and I'm slowly getting it off. But listen, in the long run, what's a little extra weight compared to my health and having great reconstruction."

Continuing to look on the bright side of things, she's also happy for all the support she's been getting from her family and husband, Kurt Iswarienko. "Kurt has been fantastic. My mom has been fantastic," she gushed.

For more on Doherty's battle with cancer, watch below.


Shannen Doherty Undergoes Reconstruction Surgery Following Breast Cancer Battle

Shannen Doherty Says She Is Banking Blood While Preparing for Upcoming Surgery

Shannen Doherty Gives Health Update: 'Cancer Changes Your Life in Ways No One Could Ever Imagine'

Related Gallery