Shannen Doherty is sharing unflinchingly real photos from her breast cancer journey to urge fans to get mammograms.
The former "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Charmed" star, 50, who has stage 4 breast cancer, posted two pics on Instagram Thursday in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The first photo, a selfie, finds a weary-looking Doherty posing with her head bald from chemotherapy treatment. A bloody tissue is seen lodged in her nose.
The second pic shows the actor lying in bed in Cookie Monster pajamas. An eye mask covers the top half of her head.
"For breast cancer awareness month, I’d like to share more of my own personal journey from my first diagnosis to my second. Is it all pretty? NO but it’s truthful and my hope in sharing is that we all become more educated, more familiar with what cancer looks like," the actor wrote in her caption.
Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. After undergoing a mastectomy and chemotherapy and radiation treatments, she went into remission in 2017. In early 2020, she announced that the cancer had returned, as stage 4.
In her caption, Doherty urged fans to be screened regularly for breast cancer, writing, "I hope I encourage people to get mammograms, to get regular checkups, to cut thru the fear and face whatever might be in front of you."
Doherty also talked about how "tired" chemo made her, and one of the side effects it caused.
"In 2015 I got diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a mastectomy and did chemo and radiation. I had many nose bleeds from the chemo. Not sure if any of you experienced this. I also was beyond tired," she wrote.
She concluded her post by expressing how much humor helped her during the darkest days.
"I cheered myself up by putting on funny pajamas that my friend Kristy gave me. Did they actually cheer me up? Yes!! Lol," she added. "I looked ridiculous and in that ridiculousness, I was able to laugh at myself. Finding humor helped get me thru what seemed impossible. I hope we all find humor in the impossible."
Last month, the "BH90210" alum told People magazine she felt compelled to speak publicly about living with cancer.
"I feel like I have a responsibility in my more public life, which I separate from my acting life … to talk about cancer and perhaps educate people more and let people know that people with stage 4 are very much alive and very active," said the star.
She added that her husband, photographer Kurt Iswarienko, tells her that no one would guess she has cancer these days because she makes so little fuss about it.
“I never really complain. I don’t really talk about it. It’s part of life at this point," she said.