Shannen Doherty Opens Up About Cancer Battle and Her Career: People Think I'm 'Unable to Perform'
By Meredith B., Kile
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Shannen Doherty opened up about her ongoing battle with breast cancer on The Dr. Oz Show on Thursday, getting candid about everything from surgery to the disease’s effect on her career.
“You know, you worry most about the people that you love, and about making sure that they’re gonna be ok,” the actress said of her diagnosis, which she revealed in August in a lawsuit against her former management company. “So for me that was the hardest part.”
Doherty claimed in the lawsuit that her former management is to blame for an alleged lapse in her health insurance, which allegedly caused her to go without a regular checkup and allowed the cancer to go undetected. She told Dr. Oz that she hasn’t yet decided on what kind of surgery she will have to treat the disease.
“It’s between two of them and at the end of the day it will be up to my doctor and it could change at the last minute,” she explained. “I’m actually going to a center, just to sort of get their general opinion and then I head back to L.A. and instantly go in with my doctors. You know, I’m like ‘You guys make the final decision. What would you do if it was your wife? What would you do if it was your daughter?’”
Doherty also revealed that she’s prepared to have a mastectomy if her doctors decide on that course of treatment.
“Ultimately, they’re just breasts right?” she said. “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.”
The actress, who broke through on Beverly Hills 90210, also opened up about how she feels her battle with cancer has affected her career in Hollywood.
“I think that people think that I’m ‘sick,’ and therefore I’m unable to perform,” she admitted. “There will be that recovery time and that I just have to take for myself. But it’s also because you do change a little bit while you’re on the medicine. You gain weight, and there is nothing that you can do about it … and I think that all affects a career like mine that’s not only based on talent, but it’s so much based on sort of the superficial shell that is right here.”
This year, Doherty is set to star as Charles Bukowski’s mother, Katherina, in the James Franco-directed biographical film Bukowski, and in Mallrats 2, the sequel to Kevin Smith’s 1995 slacker film.
“I’ve been lucky [that] I have like a director that adores me and hires me for a lot of stuff and another director like Kevin Smith, but you know those are few and far between,” she added. “I think that most people are usually like, ‘Oh God, is she OK?’”