Shannen Doherty Shares Revealing Photos on Instagram for a Powerful Reason

July 20th 2016

Lucy Tiven

On Tuesday, "90210" and "Charmed" star Shannen Doherty shared a powerful photo series on Instagram chronicling her fight with breast cancer.


A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

Titled "Steps," the six black and white images illustrate the actress's decision to shave her head, along with the support and comfort she received from friends and family members.


A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

Doherty's diagnosis was made public last August, when a dispute over her health insurance led the actress to file a lawsuit against her former manager, according to CNN.

"Yes, I have breast cancer, and I am currently undergoing treatment," she told People Magazine. "I am continuing to eat right, exercise and stay very positive about my life."

The photos bravely reveal Doherty's perseverance and strength in the face of her cancer diagnosis and treatment.


A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

People often feel extremely helpless and overwhelmed after they are diagnosed with cancer, the National Cancer Institute explains. Strung together in a poignant visual narrative, Doherty's images break down her experience into intimate, private, moments.

By sharing them, she creates her own story — rather than letting her diagnosis define her or concealing it.


A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

Doherty's posts also spotlight how the actress's mother and friends provide her with strength as she undergoes treatment.


A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

She also expressed gratitude for her support system back in August with her statement to People.

"I am thankful to my family, friends and doctors for their support and, of course, my fans who have stood by me," Doherty said.


A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

Though it's somewhat rare for a public figure to speak openly about breast cancer diagnosis or treatment, it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the U.S.

One in eight women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes, and more than 2.9 million people living in the U.S. are breast cancer survivors, the National Breast Cancer Foundation explains.

​You can see Doherty's full photo series on her Instagram.

[h/t Paper Magazine]