Shannen Doherty ‘Desperately’ Wanted a Child Amid Cancer Treatments
Shannen Doherty wanted to have a child while struggling with breast cancer treatments. In her latest podcast episode on Monday (January 1), the Heathers alum opens up about her desperation to get pregnant via IVF (in vitro fertilization). She also discusses her belief that her IVF treatments were linked to her getting breast cancer in 2015. On Monday’s (January 1) episode of her Let’s Be Clear podcast, the 52-year-old actress said she was “desperately” trying to get pregnant via IVF during her marriage with Kurt Iswarienko.
Doherty and Iswarienko were married for eleven years before the actress filed for divorce in April. “Not only did I want a child for myself, but I wanted it for my husband. I wanted it for our marriage. I wanted him to have that part of himself fulfilled as well,” she recalled. Because the couple met later in life, she says they “needed IVF, and I did a bunch of rounds of it.” At the time, the actress believed the reason why she got cancer was because of all the IVF she was doing. She added that “a lot of other women” she knew who did IVF “ended up getting breast cancer as well.” Doherty claimed that if you have a “wonky” cell that’s “sitting on the edge of maybe turning, spreading cancer,” all the hormones that are being pumped in from IVF are “only going to up that chance.”
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A 2016 study by the British Medical Journal, which followed over 255,000 women in Britain going through IVF, found “no increased risk of womb cancer or invasive breast cancer.” Another study in 2022 published by the British Journal of Surgery concluded there was “no significant breast-cancer risk association with fertility treatment” and no increased risk for those who underwent IVF over six times.
Doherty added on her podcast that because she believed IVF contributed to her breast cancer diagnosis, she initially declined treatment when she went into remission in 2017. “I don’t want to say that I made a very uninformed decision. I’m a researcher.” The Tennessee native admits that the decision was made at the time based on “sort of the facts” she had “investigated.” She noted that her oncologist was persistent in trying to convince her to undergo the cancer treatment.
Last month, Doherty told ET she was looking into adopting children now that she is in her 50s. She told the publication how her struggles with her cancer diagnosis might not be fair to raising a child. However, the actress has been looking into “all sorts of different options.”