Shannen Doherty shaved her head as she gets treatment for breast cancer

2015 Baby2Baby Gala presented by MarulaOil & Kayne Capital Advisors Foundation honoring Kerry Washington
Shannen Doherty, 45, revealed in a lawsuit last August that she has been battling breast cancer, which was diagnosed in March of 2015. We learned about her cancer diagnosis when she sued her former business manager for mishandling her money and not paying her insurance premiums. This led to Doherty being uninsured in 2014, which may have delayed her cancer diagnosis. She’s currently undergoing treatment, and told People last year that she was “continuing to eat right, exercise and stay very positive about my life.” Doherty also said that she is “thankful to my family, friends and doctors for their support and, of course, my fans who have stood by me.

Doherty’s friend, Anne Kortright-Shilstat, and her mom were with her as she shaved her head earlier this week. She Instagrammed the photos of the process, with pictures from each stage as she lost her hair. She looks happier and lighter at the end with a fresh crew cut, as if she expected it to be worse than it was and is relieved it’s over. There’s something poignant about the progression.

Here’s Shannen a month ago with her husband of five years, photographer Kurt Iswarienko.

A bit of food, coffee and lots of love for @kurtiswarienko on his birthday #lovemyman

A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

And here are the photos she posted where she cuts her hair and then shaves her head:

Step 1

A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

Step 2

A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

Step 4

A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

Step 5

A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

Step 6

A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

I’m confused by the order of those pics because I thought the one that’s labeled step 5, with her friend, was the last picture. It looks like she has less hair in the photo with her friend than in the photo at the end where only half her head is shaved. Regardless that was powerful and touching. I don’t know if I would be able to let go of my hair, and I know it would be emotional for me. She was brave not only to do that, but to share it with us.

Shannen opened up to Dr. Oz in February about her health problems, saying that she would get a mastectomy if that was her doctor’s decision. She said “Ultimately, they’re just breasts right?” She also discussed how her cancer diagnosis has negatively affected her career. I think that people think that I’m ‘sick,’ and therefore I’m unable to perform.” Still, she has the TV sequel to Mallrats coming out, it’s called Mallbrats, and she also has a few other films in production.

Best wishes to Shannen as she undergoes treatment. F-k Cancer.

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42 Responses to “Shannen Doherty shaved her head as she gets treatment for breast cancer”

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  1. Lora says:

    Yes, f*ck cancer!

  2. India says:

    I feel really bad for Shannon.

  3. lisa2 says:

    Wishing her the best

  4. Jen43 says:

    F*ck cancer. I don’t think there is a person out there who hasn’t been affected by it in some way.

    • Matomedah says:

      +1 my mother got a super aggressive form at 42. Just seeing this makes me emotional. I wish her and everyone battling cancer all the hope, luck, and success in the world. I’m so sorry. RIP mom

    • Melly says:

      I remember when I was 10 years old and my mom was diagnosed with cancer. She had me help her shave her head once her hair started falling out from chemo. She did’t want me to come home from school one day to find a bald mom, so she tried her best to make shaving her head fun. I remember being heart broken by it and I could tell my mom was too, even though she had a big smile for my benefit. I will never ever forget that.
      Fast forward, she kicked cancer’s ass. Honestly, cancer didn’t stand a chance against my tough momma.

  5. lilacflowers says:

    I’m a bit confused about her timeline. She was diagnosed in March 2015 and she’s only starting chemo now? Not all breast cancers require chemo but if it does, you don’t wait a year. Unless it recurred or spread. Scary.

    I wish her well.

    And shaving your head gives you some sense of control and power when your body has declared war on you.

    • Little Darling says:

      It depends Lilac. If she did in fact go under and have a mastectomy/implant surgery, it’s my understanding that chemo starts after that, so the body has a chance to heal from the surgery before blasting it with chemo.

      • lilacflowers says:

        But that’s a really long time. I have had breast cancer. I had two surgeries to remove the tumors and my oncologists were adamant that chemo start within 30 days of the first surgery. My cancer spread several times between the time of my mammogram to the ultrasound I had several days later, and between the first and second surgeries, all of which took place over a period of three weeks. Had I waited a year, I would not be here.

      • Little Darling says:

        @lilac amazing survivor woman!! I don’t know, perhaps she tied radiation or other forms first. Maybe it was a wait and see? I feel like this is her second time with it? I have to look, but I don’t know personally, although I would imagine she followed doctors orders.

        Congrats on your success mama. 💙


        She says there in August 2015 she was undergoing treatment, so perhaps this chemo is a more aggressive step down the road. ):

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Some only require radiation. If chemo is necessary, depending on the protocol chosen, it is usually chemo first, a month to 8 weeks radiation or chemo-radiation-chemo. The whole process takes about a year. then follow up for five years with a pill like femara or tamoxifen. If she initially did radiation and now is starting a chemo protocol, that’s not good. I’m hoping these are old pictures that she just decided to release now. I wish her well.

  6. Alix says:

    I feel terrible for Shannon. I remember when we went to get my sister’s head shaved. Cancer can f**k itself.

  7. Aussie girl says:

    Cancers sucks, all the best Shannon xo

  8. BengalCat2000 says:

    I always liked her despite her dramas. I’m glad she shared those pics with us, it is very brave.

  9. MisJes says:

    Shannon Doherty may not be a great person, but she’s a tremendously brave lady, and I wish her the best of luck. F*CK CANCER!

  10. Little Darling says:

    I always loved her, and she is showing such grace with this diagnosis.

    I lost my best friend/cousin/soul sister a year ago, and in three days it would be her birthday so this is so trigger filled for me. So sad, such loss and it’s true, it affects ALL of us in some way or another.

    Much love, acceptance and peace to Shannen. Taking control of her own story and how she approaches this is emotionally so helpful. She clearly doesn’t want to be seen as a victim of the disease or the chemo.

    Phew, full on ugly cry here. ❤️

  11. Solanaceae (Nighty) says:

    Hope she and everyone suffering from cancer get better soon and a cure is found!!

    • Melly says:

      I guess i’m a pessimist, but I really think that they are never going to find a cure for cancer. It’s far more profitable for these companies to treat it. Unfortunately, like everything, it’s all about the money

      • Gingerlu says:

        This is my first post on this site. I had to comment here. This is my own opinion–please don’t come down on me. I completely agree with Melly. It’s all about money and selling conventional cancer treatments, the majority of which don’t do anything except make you sicker. I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer in March. I had one 1.8 cm tumor and two 7mm spots located directly behind it. I had a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction in May. I had implant exchange in June. I am very lucky that I am Stage 1. The cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes and my surgeon told me she was 95% sure that there was no more cancer in my body. But I was pushed to have chemo before and after surgery anyway. I refused both times. I don’t think chemo is the answer. It makes no sense to poison someone who is already sick. After seeing so many friends and relatives die a miserable death, I vowed I’d never agree to chemo–no matter what. I also refused Tamoxifen. Instead, I have embraced alternative treatments. On the day of my diagnosis, I switched to a plant based diet and I began clearing my house (as best I could) of all toxic products. I began taking a lot of supplements and I practice meditation. I am super positive. I will beat this cancer. Every cancer is different and every person is different, but I want to yell it from the roof tops that there are many natural and integrative therapies to treat cancers. Please be proactive. Learn about these alternative and integrative therapies before this happens to you. By the way, during the 2 month period between my biopsy and my surgery, my large tumor shrank 3mm and the two small spots disappeared. I know that this is not a dramatic shrinkage, but I have Her2 positive breast cancer which is very aggressive, meaning that I would have expected it to grow and not shrink. If you are ever diagnosed with breast cancer, please take time to learn what your options are. Please don’t let doctors push you into treatments that may do more harm than good.

      • Melly says:

        Welcome to the posting world of Celebitchy!
        I’m sending you all of the good vibes during this incredibly difficult time. Fight cancer on your own terms. Cancer doesn’t follow the rules and you are more than entitled to fight it any way you want to. Stay strong. Stay proactive. Make cancer rue the day it it decided to f#ck with you.

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        I disagree, I was talking with a researcher at a pharma company the other day and he said they’ve just managed to find incredible drugs that have very high (like in the 90th percentile) rates for “liquid ” cancers, so those in the blood like leukemia. They are getting there, but it is not easy

      • Gingerlu says:

        I agree that there are a few forms of cancer that respond well to chemo. Every cancer and every person is different. Testicular cancer and lymphomas tend to do well. Others not so much. I think the problem is that chemo targets tumors and not the cancer stem cells. Even after the tumor is gone, the stem cells continue to circulate. They may eventually reattached and form additional tumors. For anyone that’s already had their immune system destroyed by chemo, this is very bad. See the peer reviewed article in Clinical Oncology, 2004, vol 16(8) for more information on which cancers respond best to chemo.

      • siri says:

        Sending you all my love, and good vibes, @Gingerlu. I myself did not experience cancer (yet), but lost many friends and relatives to it. All of them did chemo and radiation repeatedly. However, I believe it to depend on each person’s ‘modalities’, and the particular type of cancer, which therapy/therapies might be of help. I’ve always considered alternative/complementary methods the better ones in the long run, but there’s really no way of knowing for sure. And I agree with the idea that poisoning an already weakened body might not be a great idea. On the other hand, to rely on alternative treatments only requires a lot of knowledge, and I do my best to gather all the information out there. God knows what I would do- I just don’t. But whatever people decide, it needs to be an informed, independent, proactive choice. I just hope for everyone to be able to make that kind of choice. Stay strong in your mind, and heart, and let your wisdom guide you!

      • elle says:

        Agree with Melly and sending positive thoughts to Gingerlu. I lost my mom to cancer 2 months ago. Her first chemo treatment sent her in to cardiac arrest (she was allergic to Taxol). She recovered from that, but was never on the uphill side afterwards.

        ETA: Best wishes to Shannen, too.

      • Lrayne25 says:


        Keep fighting the good fight! I wish we had told the doctors “no thanks” when they told us chemo and radiation were pretty much the only choices for my mom when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. If we had, she could have actually enjoyed her last few months of life. As it was, she was diagnosed Dec 10th and died Feb 19th, after much suffering and pain.

        Good luck to you!

      • Boo says:

        All the best to you Gingerlu. I want to give you a big high five!

        Keep doing you. An oncologist once told me if something appears to be helping, keep doing it. There are loads of people finding meditation and positive attitude and taking personal control of health decisions is working! I meditate too, a lot. Also other positive healing things that make me feel better and in some control of my health.

        My thoughts are with everyone who lost someone to cancer. In our family, both parents, both had a rare cancer. Solidarity healing thoughts with everyone.

  12. cakecakecake says:

    This is so sad, I hate cancer. I’ve had too many family members and friends die, these are heartbreaking photos. I hope Shannon can beat this.

  13. Common Sense says:

    I used to love charmed, she was my favourite sister. It wasn’t the same after she left, so I stopped watching it. Best of luck to her, cancer sucks.

  14. Shambles says:

    Kick cancers’ ass like it’s a demon, Pru. You got this.

    My heart goes out to Shannen and I hope she beats this.

  15. Tate says:

    A friend was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. That diagnosis got me off my ass and into the doc’s office for a mammogram that I had been putting off.

    These pics are powerful. Hoping the best for Shannon.

  16. Gabrielle says:

    I stopped watching 90210 after the Brenda seasons. F*ck Kelly and Dylan. Best wishes to Shannen.

  17. New Kay says:

    I love Shannon Doherty and also love the fact that she’s aged gracefully and doesn’t look plastic.

  18. Tia Maria says:

    First time poster!
    All the best to Shannen!!!
    Fk cancer indeed! My boyfriend was diagnosed last year, thankfully he’s doing great now after intensive chemo and surgeries. We’re lucky to have a dedicated cancer hospital in my my city in the UK and he receive the best treatment. Big shout out to all the doctors and nurses out there doing a great job!

  19. Josefina says:

    Shannen Doherty news made me nostalgic for the Charmed drama on set, especially after seeing that picture of her with Holly Marie Combs.

    Best wishes to her. Stay strong, Prue!

  20. Pam says:

    My mom was diagnosed with endometrial cancer past November and the shock of hearing the damn world makes the world crumble at that moment. Cancer is a courageous battle but not necessarily ends with death. Best wishes for Shannen and all the people who are involved in this dreadful disease. Greetings from Mexico City .

    • aurelia says:

      Promise me ladies, stop binge drinking. There is a high correlation between it and breast cancer. And avoid Mammograms like the plague. The rates of breast cancer skyrocket for women who get radiation mammaograms on an annual basis. A 2015 Scandanavian proved the link.

      You can have your breasts scanned via thermal imaging. I get it done every year since turning 40. My maternal grandmother died of it at 48 in 1974 of breast cancer. It was unheard of back them for a pre-menopausal woman to get breast cancer. It was usually an old ladies disease. Yeah,, not anymore, 17 yaear old little girls are being diognosed now.

      Anyhoo, get off an pharmaceutical combined contraceptive pills as well once you hit 40. I will swap to bio-identical plant based oestogens (take liquid black cochosh, not pill form. Pill form is unable to be absorbed by the body) and natural progestorone, neither of which carry any links to breast cancer. Its the synthetic forms which can be related to breast cancer.

      You have to be responsible for your own health and make informed descisions. Your well meaning GP and even indocotrinated specialists sometimes doesn’t know what is best for you. Also I see a naturopath regularly since working in China where a holistic approach to wellness is just common sense and standard. Everybody has a doctor and a herbalist. Herbalist train longer in bio chemistry. I’m talking years, from within a successful framework spanning literally 1000’s of years. Western Doctors, who are tied to the profits of the big pharmas (this is no conspiracy theory, its just an obvious fact) study bio chemistry for a 2 week module back 20 years ago when they were in med school. If you want results, get a naturopath. I did, as I was tired of my well meaning doctor just shrugging his shoulders at me wishing he knew how to help me.

      Nuff said.

  21. Pmnichols says:

    That sucks. Hopefully she beats it.