VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Kevin: Just two weeks ago, Shannen Doherty stunned the world by posting a series of photos shaving her head after an aggressive round of chemotherapy.
Nischelle: Yeah, Kevin, now Shannen is talking only to Entertainment Tonight about why she decided to share these very personal photos, her diagnosis, and also her brave battle to survive.
Kevin: Yeah, the 90210 star opened up to our senior news editor Jennifer Perils, revealing the terrifying truth that her breast cancer has spread.
Shannen: I had a single mastectomy in May. Where my tumor was, and the fact that it just wasn't one tumor, it was a couple of different tumors, which is why I had to have a mastectomy and couldn't, like, have a lumpectomy. Living without a breast is manageable. It's the worry of your future and how your future is going to affect the people that you love.
Jennifer: Shannen only had one breast removed at her doctor's recommendation, and she does not carry the breast cancer gene. But, she did learn that the cancer in the breast she removed had spread.
Shannen: From one of my surgeries, we discovered that some of the cancer cells might have actually gone out of the lymph nodes, so for that reason, we are doing chemo, and then after chemo, I'll do radiation.
Jennifer: Did they put a stage number on this?
Shannen: They do a stage when they take the tumor out, you know, once it starts spreading, you're above stage 2. You're stage 3, stage 4, whatever it is. But, my treatments are my treatments. There's nothing I can do to change it. Stage 3, stage 4 stage, it's not going to change that.
Jennifer: You're still going through chemo?
Shannen: I'm still going through whatever my doctor's telling me to go through because I trust them.
Jennifer: It was 16 months ago that Shannen was first diagnosed. Now, she doesn't want to know what stage she's in, and how far the disease spread is not important to her. She just wants to focus on the fight itself.
Jennifer: Has it spread to anywhere else in your body?
Shannen: I mean, we don't really -- as of now, no. But, you know, we don't know. When we took out some of the lymph nodes, we did notice one of the lymph nodes was protruding, one of the cancer cells was protruding out of the lymph nodes.
Jennifer: She first knew something was wrong when she felt something on her breast.
Jennifer: You were in the shower doing a self breast exam?
Jennifer: Was that the first time you knew something was wrong?
Shannen: Yeah, I mean, I don't know if it was that I knew something was wrong, but I...
Jennifer: You felt something?
Shannen: ...I felt something.
Jennifer: You went to the doctor?
Shannen: I did not go to the doctor right away. My, I can't, I can't get too into this because I'm in the middle of a lawsuit at the moment, so I'm not allowed to talk about it, and so I didn't have insurance to cover me for going to the doctor.
Jennifer: After completing chemo and radiation, Shannen will have reconstructive surgery. Sharon Osbourne, Christina Applegate, and Angelina Jolie all opted for reconstruction after their mastectomies. Dr. Jay Orringer, who reconstructed Angelina's breasts, is working with Shannen, and during an early surgery, he left her with a little surprise.
Shannen: He didn't want me to wake up with absolutely nothing. It was very important to him that I didn't have that experience. So, he put an expander in. So, you know, I have a tiny something there. It's cute, and sometimes we fill it up and make it bigger, and sometimes we reduce it. I'm being so personal right now. But, I think a lot of women can probably go, "Yeah, I've been through that," and it's great though! You get to pick out what size you what.
Jennifer: Go shopping every morning, right?
For more details on this exclusive interview, you can view the Entertainment Tonight feature story.