Marcia Cross says her anal cancer was 'one of the greatest gifts you can have'

Actress has been in remission since 2018

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Tuesday 10 September 2019 20:04 BST
Marcia Cross says her anal cancer was 'one of the greatest gifts you can have'

Marcia Cross has revealed that being diagnosed with anal cancer was “one of the greatest gifts you can have”.

The actress, who has become an outspoken advocate for those who suffer from the disease, discussed her life post-cancer while attending a party for the Farrah Fawcett Foundation, which raises awareness for HPV-related cancers.

According to Cross, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2017, she recalls thinking her diagnosis was a gift as it allowed her to reflect on life and love.

Speaking to People, the 57-year-old said: “I said as it was going on, ‘If this doesn’t kill me, it really is one of the greatest gifts you can have’.

“And I know other people who have had cancer say that too and part of it is being loved and having to be the receiver of that love. I’ve been a caretaker many times and that changed my heart forever.”

Cross also said that the experience taught her appreciation “for life and the fact that we’re alive”.

And while she doesn’t necessarily think being the face of anal cancer is the most “glamorous fun job,” the actress said she is “very committed to it”.

“Let’s just get over the fact that we all have an anus and we need to stop with that taboo…” she said, before adding: “It’s nothing bad and everybody needs to learn about the HPV virus.”

Cross, who has been in remission since 2018, was diagnosed with the cancer almost 10 years after her husband Tom Mahoney was treated for throat cancer.

According to her doctors, the cancers were likely caused by the same type of human papillomavirus or HPV, a sexually transmitted disease.

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The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states 90 per cent of anal cancer cases are caused by HPV, which can also cause genital, cervical and throat cancers. However, the types of HPV that commonly cause cancer are preventable with the vaccine.

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