Marcia Cross on anal cancer awareness, HPV prevention: ‘Stop being embarrassed about it’

Desperate Housewives alumni Marcia Cross realizes that being the face of anal cancer isn’t particularly glamorous, but still, she’s determined to use her experience with the disease to spread awareness about anal cancer prevention. She also said she will be getting her daughters the vaccine to protect against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the sexually-transmitted virus that caused her anal cancer.

Speaking to Us Weekly this week at a Farrah Fawcett Foundation event, Cross, 57, acknowledged that there is still a stigma surrounding the disease, but she’s going to be doing her part to put an end to it.

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“It’s not a job that anyone really wants,” Cross said. “It’s not particularly glamorous to be the face of anal cancer … I want to tell you that I now love and cherish my anus and you should all love and cherish yours. We should all stop being embarrassed about it because we’re gifted with one beautiful anus; it does an amazing job.”

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Cross announced a year ago that she was in recovery after a cancer battle in an Instagram post; she clarified that she was battling anal cancer a few days later. Now that she has been cancer-free for a year, she is encouraging others to be aware of their bodies, and to take preventative measures where they’re available.

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“Educate yourselves on the HPV virus,” Cross said. “That’s really the bigger calling to me, because that causes 5 percent of our cancers and we all need to be up to speed on that.”

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