Marcia Cross, 57, has revealed some scary details about the potential cause of her anal cancer. She did it to raise cancer awareness for others so they can protect themselves from the deadly disease.
In an interview with CBS This Morning on June 5, she revealed about her battle with anal cancer that was diagnosed in November 2017. She talked about how her cancer may be linked to her husband Tom Mahoney‘s throat cancer that was diagnosed in 2009 due to the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Now, Marcia is in remission; however, Tom went into remission only to have his cancer return after 10 years. Doctors are now suspecting that HPV was the cause of both cancers.
Marcia urges people to know about the HPV vaccine that could help prevent cancers caused by HPV. She explained the importance of getting vaccinated.
The HPV vaccine that also prevents cancers of cervix, vagina, and vulva can be given to children above nine years of age. She admitted that she will get her own twin daughters, Savannah and Eden, 12, vaccinated within a week.
According to the CDC, “The HPV vaccine aka Gardasil is given in a series of two injections and will only be effective if both are completed.”
According to Verywell Health, “Both sexually active and non-sexually active people can benefit from the vaccine but if a person has already come into contact with the virus, it will not be effective.”
It is, therefore, best for children and young adults to get vaccinated before they become sexually active and expose themselves to the virus through sexual contact.
There has been a common misconception that only younger women need the HPV vaccine. However, younger boys are equally susceptible to certain cancers and genital warts caused by HPV, so they should also get the vaccine.
The CDC recommends women to get the HPV vaccine until the age of 26 and men until the age of 21 if they are not vaccinated as a child.
Sometimes, people with diseases caused by HPV are asymptomatic, which was exactly the case with Marcia. So, she wants to raise awareness. She said, “I was so not thinking anything was wrong because I didn’t have any symptoms, and she gave me an exam and came around. Well, I just want you to know, whatever it is it’s curable.’ It was like — what?! What are you talking about?”
Although Marcia felt a bit embarrassed to admit to having the disease at first, she has now fully embraced getting through it and using her experience to help others. She added, “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.”