“Desperate Housewives” Star Links Her Anal Cancer, Spouse’s Throat Cancer

Actress Marcia Cross says no stigma should be attached to the anal cancer she was recently treated for. Her cancer was caused by HPV, the same virus responsible for cervical cancer and – she says – her husband’s throat cancer. Image: Kirk Weaver, CC BY 3.0

Marcia Cross wants to “destigmatize” anal cancer, says hers was linked to husband’s battle

Cydney Henderson, June 6, 2019

USA TODAY – “Desperate Housewives” star Marcia Cross, 57, opened up with “CBS This Morning” Wednesday about her shocking anal cancer diagnosis a year and a half ago, which she recently discovered could be linked to her husband’s 2009 battle with throat cancer.

“I was so not thinking anything was wrong because I didn’t have any symptoms,” Cross recalled going into her regular gynecologist visit.

“She gave me an exam and came around and said, ‘Well, I just want you to know, whatever it is it’s curable.’ It was like – ‘What?! What are you talking about?’ ”

The doctor had found a cancerous mass in her anus.

Doctors suspect that Cross’ anal cancer and husband Tom Mahoney’s throat cancer came from the same type of human papillomavirus, commonly called HPV, which can be transferred through sexual intercourse or skin-to-skin contact.

Cross herself struggled with saying “anal” freely:

“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?” she said. “I mean, come on, really. There’s enough on your plate.”

“Even for me, it took a while. Anus, anus, anus!” she said with a laugh. “You just have to get used to it.” READ MORE. 


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