Posted in cancer, Entertainment, Health, news

Shannen Doherty Reveals Her Stage 4 Breast Cancer Diagnosis

The 48 year-old 90210 star revealed on Good Morning America that her breast cancer has returned.

Originally diagnosed in 2015, she went into remission within 2 years.  Unfortunately, it returned last year fairly aggressively.

She had hoped to keep the news private, but a concurrent lawsuit with State Farm involving damages to her house during the 2018 Woolsey Fire was going to cause her condition to be revealed in court papers and she would rather her fans, “hear it from her.”

She states, “Our life doesn’t end when we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do.”

Celebrities such as Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Olivia Newton-John, Christina Applegate and Cynthia Nixon have also revealed their breast cancer diagnoses, helping raise awareness for the most common cancer to affect women.  It’s the second most common cause of cancer death in females.

How common is breast cancer?

1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. According to Breastcancer.org, an estimated 276,000 cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the US this year with 48,500 cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

42,000 women and 500 men are expected to die this year of breast cancer.

 

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

Risk factors for breast cancer include:

  • Age greater than 50
  • Family History
  • BRAC1 and BRAC2 genetic mutations
  • Alcohol use
  • Never been pregnant or becoming pregnant for the first time over 35 years old
  • Early menarche at age 11 or younger
  • Obesity, especially after menopause
  • Dense breasts
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Use of oral contraceptives
  • Previous “precancerous” tumors such as atypical hyperplasia
  • DES exposure
  • Previous radiation therapy

How is breast cancer staged?

Breast cancer is staged based on size of the tumor, if lymph nodes are affected and whether the cancer has spread to distant areas of the body.  Prognosis varies greatly on the stage.

 

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IMAGE ABOVE FROM JOHNSTON HEALTH

 

Is family history a huge factor?

85% of breast cancer cases occur in women with NO family history.

 

Screening of breast cancer

Mammograms are the first line screening tool for breast cancer and are currently recommended biennial for women aged 50-74.  However for those at higher risk, mammogram screening should start earlier, with possible follow-up ultrasound, and be performed more regularly.

 

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3-D MAMMOGRAM IMAGE

 

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Great Gift!!!

The Ultimate Medical Student HandBook

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is Board Certified Family Physician

 

Author:

Nationally Syndicated Radio Host, Board Certified Family Medicine Physician, Author

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