General Health

Shannen Doherty Shares Emotional Photos of Her Breast Cancer Struggle

She made RBF (that’s Resting B*tch Face) popular long before it was ever a clever little acronym. Who? That would be Shannen Doherty – or, at least her on-screen character Brenda Walsh, of the mega-popular 90s US show Beverley Hills 90210.

Even though she may be known for her tough girl persona, Doherty showed a much softer side in recent images. Capturing her battle with breast cancer, the actress shared photos of herself prepping for the fight by shaving her head.

Image credit: Facebook

Diagnosed in 2015, the actress decided to give the world a glimpse into her fight via Facebook and Instagram. Doherty’s battle with breast cancer first became major news when she sued her former business management team, claiming that they didn’t pay for her Screen Actors Guild insurance. The claim cited Doherty’s lack of healthcare coverage as a factor that delayed her diagnosis and eventual treatment.

As Doherty prepared for treatment, she posted a photo with the caption, “Cupcake pan, chocolates and a razor…Stay tuned” along with hashtags such as #cancersucks. She followed this with a six step (and six photo) stream of posts, documenting each phase of shaving her head. Starting with a full head of hair, an obviously emotional Doherty’s first photo has gotten more than 21,000 likes on Facebook already. Under the photo, commenters posted an outpouring of love for the actress, including, “Awww Shannen. My heart breaks seeing you go through this process. You are an amazing woman and have a strong spirit. You are surrounded by amazing strong people…you will get through this. Thinking of you.”

Image credit: Facebook

The next steps show Shannen surrounded by her mum and friends, giving her support as she starts the shaving process.

The near-final step shows an almost completely bald Doherty (with her friend Anne Kortright-Shilstat), ready for her fight.

Image credit: Facebook
Image credit: Facebook
Image credit: Facebook

Kortright-Shilstat reposted the photo on her own Instagram page with the comment:

“I couldn’t be prouder of you today. Your strength and courage is so inspiring and I am so very lucky to have you in my life. Thank you for blindly trusting me today to help you with such a big step. I will forever be there for you no matter what.”

In an update to her Facebook page, Doherty posts a group shot, along with the comment,

“Thank you to these three who helped me thru and impossibly tough day and continue to be there every minute supporting and loving me.”

Image credit: Facebook
Image credit: Facebook

Doherty’s posts continue to make a mark in the public’s hearts. With a growing number of likes and shares, fans and well-wishers alike are sending their love and prayers out to the actress – often with the hashtag #cancersucks. Yes, it certainly does. But, the clear fighting spirit that Doherty is displaying shows just how serious she is about winning the battle!

Avatar of Erica Loop

Erica Loop is a mum, parenting writer and educator with an MS in child development. Along with writing for websites such as PBS Parents,, Scary Mommy,, Modern Mom, and others, she also is the creator of a kids' activities and art blog.

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