Shannen Doherty
Charmed actress Shannen Doherty has confirmed she is battling breast cancerBrad Barket/Getty Images

Former Charmed actress Shannen Doherty has confirmed she is battling breast cancer. The news was initially revealed through a lawsuit, which the TV star is said to have filed against a business management firm for mishandling her health insurance, according to reports.

In a statement released to People magazine, the 44 year old said she is "remaining positive" about the diagnosis and is being supported by friends and family. The actress revealed: "Yes, I have breast cancer, and I am currently undergoing treatment."

"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." The former Beverly Hills, 90210 actress has not directly addressed her illness on social media but she cryptically tweeted on 18 August: "Just know.... I love you all."

People claims Doherty was forced to confirm her diagnosis after celebrity website TMZ published legal documents, which revealed the actress was suing her former business manager. According to the lawsuit, Doherty alleges that the company did not pay her insurance premiums, causing her health insurance to lapse. This meant the TV actress was not able to receive treatment during this time and she believes it could have prevented the cancer from spreading.

The documents reportedly state: "[Doherty] discovered that she had invasive breast cancer metastatic to at least one lymph node. She 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."

Weighing in on the situation, a source told People: "Her finances were not handled by someone she trusted handle them. This was someone she trusted."

A rep for the business management firm Tanner Mainstain told the publication that they would be fighting against the lawsuit. The statement read: "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."