Why Shannen Doherty Kept Cancer News a Secret: People 'Look at You Like You're Dead Man Walking' squib

Shannen Doherty is opening up about why she waited to share the news of her cancer diagnosis with the world.

In an interview with ABC News that aired on Good Morning America on Tuesday, the Beverly Hills, 90210 actress revealed she was now battling stage 4 breast cancer, after previously announcing she was in remission in 2017.

On Wednesday, Doherty, 48, shared more details about her health with ABC’s Amy Robach in an emotional segment where she said aside from not wanting to tell people about her cancer because of the death of her friend and costar Luke Perry in March 2019, she kept the news to herself for the fear of being treated differently.

“ look at you like you’re dead man walking, basically, and that they need to say their goodbyes to you,” the star said while dabbing at her eyes.

“Work dries up,” Doherty added. “I enjoy working, and working gives me just another reason to wake up every morning. It’s another reason to fight to stay alive.”

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The Heathers actress learned her cancer returned after she started “feeling some very odd aches.” It prompted her to call her oncologist, who urged her to come in for a check.

“In the back of your head, you are always expecting that this is gonna happen,” Doherty said. “But I definitely also, in another way, also convinced myself that I had beaten it. I was the true warrior, I was the true survivor.”

As far as keeping with her history of being open on social media about how she’s handling the day-to-day parts of battling cancer, the star said, “I don’t know. I don’t post a lot anymore, and I also don’t want to be a bummer.”

“And yes, I want to positive, and yes, I want to be a beacon light for other people — or at least somebody that people can relate to and have an honest conversation and talk about how hard it is. I do want to be raw and honest about it,” she added.

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In the interview that aired Tuesday, where Doherty first told Robach that her cancer had returned, the actress said, “I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”

“I definitely have days where I say, ‘Why me?’ ” the Charmed alum said of the development in her health. “And then I go, ‘Well, why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this?’ None of us do.”

Doherty also said participating in the TV reboot of Beverly Hills, 90210, which aired last year on Fox, was the “least I could do” to honor Perry, but it was also an opportunity to prove that she could continue to work despite her health. (She also guest-starred on Riverdale‘s season 4 premiere in October, as a woman whose life Perry’s character, Fred Andrews, died saving.)

“One of the reasons, along with Luke, that I did 90210 and didn’t really tell anybody because I thought, people can look at that people with stage 4 can work too,” she explained in the interview.

Doherty added, “Our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do.”

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