Shannen Doherty’s terrifying cancer battle in the midst of heartbreaking divorce – what to know

The Charmed actress has been battling breast cancer since 2015, and split from her husband Kurt Iswarienks in 2023

Shannen Doherty was flooded with support from her fans and celebrities alike after she gave an update on her years-long cancer battle and the terrifying process of radiation therapy on Tuesday.

The Beverly Hills, 90210 alum has been candid about her battle with cancer, which first began back in 2015. It was actually her dog Bowie who convinced her to get checked out, after she says he started to “obsessively sniff” her side.

In 2016, she shared that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, and she had to undergo eight rounds of chemotherapy and radiation as a result.

Though she went into remission in 2017, just one year later, she told the Associated Press that her tumor markers had become “elevated.”

Two years later in 2020, Shannen announced during an appearance on Good Morning America that her cancer had returned as stage four breast cancer, meaning it had spread to other parts of her body beyond the original source of the tumor.

“I don’t think that I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways,” she said at the time.

The last several years have been full of heartbreaking turmoil for Shannen, who in 2023 has had to deal with both her cancer battle, now metastatic breast cancer that spread to her brain, she revealed Tuesday, plus a sudden divorce from her husband of 11 years, Kurt Iswarienko.

The actress announced in April of this year that she and Kurt were divorcing. They first started dating in 2008, and in a statement to the Associated Press, her publicist Leslie Sloane confessed: “Divorce is the last thing Shannen wanted,” adding: “Unfortunately, she felt she was left with no other option.”

In a separate statement to Page Six, the veteran Hollywood publicist also said: “You can contact Kurt’s agent, Collier Grimm at PICTUREKID, as she is intimately involved.”

At the time, Shannen only addressed the seemingly sudden split with a cryptic message on social media which read: “The only people who deserve to be in your life are the ones who treat you with love, kindness and total respect.”

Shannen had given little update on her cancer journey until this week, when she took to Instagram to share two videos of her radiation therapy back in January of this year. An initial video sees her about to go into a scanning machine, while in the process of being fitted for the mask she had to wear for the radiation.

A second, even more heartbreaking video posted the following day, which she said was taken on January 12, sees her already in the treatment process, wearing the aforementioned mask as she lays down under a red light, tears streaming down her face.

“On January 5th, my CT scan showed mets in my brain,” she wrote, adding: “January 12, the first round of radiation took place. My fear is obvious. I am extremely claustrophobic and there was a lot going on in my life.”

She concluded: “I am fortunate as I have great doctors like Dr. Amin Mirahdi and the amazing techs at Cedar Sinai. But that fear…. The turmoil….. The timing of it all…. This is what cancer can look like.”