Anal Cancer Survivor Marcia Cross Pushes Pap Tests

HPV is the single-largest risk factor for cervical cancer. Manfred Werner/Tsui – CC by-sa 3.0

“I know there are people who are ashamed. You have cancer! Do you have to then also feel ashamed? Like you did something bad, you know, because it took up residence in your anus? I mean, come on, really. There’s enough on your plate. Even for me, it took a while. Anus, anus, anus! You just have to get used to it.”  – Marcia Cross on her anal cancer experience

Jan 9, 2020

SurvivorNet – Actor Marcia Cross, best known for her role in the ABC hit series “Desperate Housewives,” is advocating for women to get their pap tests for HPV this Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

Cross herself was diagnosed with HPV-related anal cancer in 2018, and has been a passionate advocate for cancer awareness as as well for screening for HPV.

“Get your #paptest ladies! Early detection is key!! #cervicalcancer #hpvawareness #cervicalscreening,” she wrote alongside a sticker about cervical cancer from the Cure Cervical Cancer organization.

Cross’ supporters were grateful for the way she used her platform, sharing their own stories about HPV and the importance of the pap test.

“Agreed I’m a survivor due to early detection by my doctor here in good old Marlborough, MA!” wrote one. Desperate Housewives Star Links Her Anal Cancer, Spouse’s Throat Cancer

HPV and Cervical Cancer

About 13,170 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed this year, making up about 0.7% of cancer diagnoses, according to the National Cancer Institute. The disease has a 65.8% survival rate after five years.

Nearly all sexually active people will be infected with Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection almost immediately after they become sexually active, according to the National Cancer Institute.

HPV is also the biggest risk factor for cervical cancer, and there are usually no early signs or symptoms of the disease. However, cervical cancer can be detected through regular check-ups.

“There’s just a vast vacuum of lack of knowledge about HPV and how it spreads, how we carry it, what happens to it when you have it. … I feel like most of the people my age, [or a] couple generations younger, couple generations older, have never heard of it,” Cross told SurvivorNet … Read more.

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