Marcia Cross is sharing details about her battle with anal cancer. She hopes her story will help end the stigma and shame that surrounds the particular type of cancer.
The former Desperate Housewives star opened up to People magazine regarding what her life has been like since she was diagnosed with the disease. It has been a little over a year, and a half of her fighting cancer and the actress is finally starting to feel like herself again. Cross revealed she endured three months of grueling treatment, as well as several more to find and accept her new normal.
Along with speaking with the magazine, the mother of two has also used Instagram to get candid about anal cancer, including seeking advice managing hair loss from cancer.
“I want to help put a dent in the stigma around anal cancer. I’ve read a lot of cancer-survivor stories, and many people, women especially, were too embarrassed to say what kind of cancer they had. There is a lot of shame about it. I want that to stop,” Cross stated.
Her journey began in the fall of 2017 at a routine gynecologist visit. Cross learned something was off, and after a digital rectal exam, the actress was immediately sent to a specialist. It took two different biopsies to determine what her doctor initially thought, the 57-year-old had anal cancer.
“Surgery wasn’t recommended, which was a relief. You want to preserve sphincter muscles if possible. Having woken up to its importance, I am now a big fan of the anus!” the Melrose Place alum continued.
— People (@people) March 27, 2019
Since surgery was not the best option, Cross underwent six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. After doing research, she learned her journey would not be an easy one. The treatments were considered difficult. Therefore, the actress decided early on to find humor in her battle.
“In the beginning, I just sort of lay down for the parting of the cheeks and I would float away,” she says, laughing. Because what are you going to do? Every time I go to the bathroom, I think, ‘That’s awesome! Thank you, body,” she shared.
As she approaches a year in remission, Marcia Cross wants people to be aware of symptoms that include itching, bleeding, pain, and lumps. She also reiterates that it is essential to know your body. If something feels off, then tell a doctor. Trust your instincts because cancer can be cured if caught early enough