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Marcia Cross Doesn't Want Anyone To Be 'Ashamed' Of Anal Cancer

The actress said that it took her a while for her to say “anus,” but “you just have to get used to it.”

Marcia Cross is continuing to speak out about her experience with anal cancer, hoping that it will erase some of the taboo surrounding both the disease and its name. 

The “Desperate Housewives” actress appeared on CBS This Morning Wednesday to talk about her journey. She was first diagnosed in November 2017 and announced she was in remission in September 2018.

“I was so not thinking anything was wrong [during my exam] because I didn’t have any symptoms, and she gave me an exam and came around and said, ‘Well, I just want you to know, whatever it is it’s curable,’” Cross said. It was like — what?! What are you talking about?”

Marcia Cross attends Hollywood Unites for the 5th Biennial Stand Up To Cancer on Sept. 9, 2016 in Los Angeles. 
Marcia Cross attends Hollywood Unites for the 5th Biennial Stand Up To Cancer on Sept. 9, 2016 in Los Angeles. 

After being diagnosed with anal cancer, Cross said that it took her a while for her to say “anus,” but then she added: “You just have to get used to it.” 

“I know there are people who are ashamed. You have cancer! You have to then also feel ashamed?” she said. “Like you did something bad, you know, because it took up residence in your anus?” 

The actress added, “I mean, come on, really. There’s enough on your plate.”

Luckily, she had a group of girlfriends, who she called her “anal angels,” to help her get through the experience. Now, she’s healthy and not taking anything for granted. 

“I’m the girl who goes to the bathroom now, and I go ‘Yes! It’s great what my body can do! I’m so grateful,’” Cross added. 

The Mayo Clinic describes anal cancer as an “uncommon” type of cancer, with symptoms that include itching, the appearance of certain growths, pain and/or bleeding from the anus. 

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