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

Cross, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2017 and is now in remission, said that she recalls thinking that her diagnosis was a gift because it allowed her to reflect on crucial aspects of her life


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

Actress Marcia Cross, an outspoken advocate for patients of anal cancer, has revealed that being diagnosed with the disease is "one of the greatest gifts you can have".

The actress made the statement while attending a party for the Farrah Fawcett Foundation where she discussed her life after battling cancer. The foundation raises awareness for HPV-related cancer.

Cross, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2017 and is now in remission, said that she recalls thinking that her diagnosis was a gift because it allowed her to reflect on crucial aspects of her life.

The 57-year-old, while speaking to People, 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," she said.

The actress added that although she doesn't think being the face of anal cancer is the most "glamorous fun job", nonetheless, she continues to remain "committed to" the cause.

"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."

Actress Marcia Cross and husband Tom Mahoney attend the Governors Ball for the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on September 21, 2008, in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

The actress had previously said that using the word "anus" as freely as she does now, did not come easy. "Even for me, it took a while. Anus, anus, anus! Ha. You just have to get used to it," she shared.

The 57-year-old added that she had relied on her friends and family who she called her "anal angels" while going through radiation and chemotherapy. 

"What I had was a bevy of girlfriends. I called them my 'anal angels'. You know, I kept saying, 'If this doesn't kill me, it's like the best thing that could have ever happened'. Because the experience of being loved like that — it blew my mind."

Cross was reportedly diagnosed with the disease nearly 10 years after her husband, Tom Mahoney, was treated for throat cancer. She revealed that according to her doctors the cancers in both of them were caused by the same type of human papillomavirus or HPV, a sexually transmitted disease.
 
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 90 percent of anal cancer cases are caused by HPV, which can also result in throat, genital, and cervical cancers.

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