18th Annual Webby Awards - ArrivalsFormer "Beverly Hills, 90210" star Shannen Doherty has breast cancer, the actress has confirmed.

In a statement to People, Doherty, 44, revealed her diagnosis, discussing the disease for the first time publicly.

"Yes, I have breast cancer, and I am currently undergoing treatment," Doherty's statement said. "I am continuing to eat right, exercise and stay very positive about my life. I am thankful to my family, friends and doctors for their support and, of course, my fans who have stood by me."

Doherty's diagnosis was first reported by TMZ, which earlier this week posted a details of lawsuit filed by the actress claiming that her former business manager -- the firm Tanner, Mainstain, Glynn & Johnson -- mishandled her finances, including failing to pay her health insurance premiums and causing her insurance to lapse. During the time when she was not receiving medical care, the suit claims, Doherty developed breast cancer, which went untreated and undiagnosed until March of this year, when doctors "discovered that she had invasive breast cancer metastatic to at least one lymph node."

According to the lawsuit, Doherty "was informed that her cancer had spread during 2014 (when she was uninsured) ... [and] was also informed that, had she been insured and able to visit her doctor, the cancer could potentially have been stopped, thus obviating the need for future treatment (including mastectomy and chemotherapy) that [Doherty] will likely have to suffer through now."

A representative for Tanner Mainstain released its own statement to People in response to Doherty's claims. It said:

Tanner Mainstain is saddened to learn that Ms. Doherty is suffering from cancer and wishes her a full recovery. However, the claim that Tanner Mainstain caused her to be uninsured, prevented her from seeking medical care, or somehow contributed to her cancer is patently false. Tanner Mainstain will aggressively defend all of Ms. Doherty's claims in court.

Here's wishing Doherty well in her treatment and recovery.

[via: People]

Photo credit: Getty Images

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