Marcia Cross on her ‘gnarly’ anal cancer battle: ‘I want the shame to stop’

Former “Desperate Housewives” star Marcia Cross isn’t afraid to talk about her battle with anal cancer. In fact, she wants to discuss it to “help put a dent in the stigma” around the disease, she said.

The actress, 57, recently opened up about her anal cancer diagnosis to People, telling the publication she wants other current or former cancer patients to feel shameless when talking about their battles.

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“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,” she told the outlet.

Though Cross, who was first informed she had anal cancer in November 2017, is now in remission, the process to get to that point was anything but easy.

After Cross’ gynecologist first saw signs of anal cancer during an annual checkup, the actress later underwent two biopsies which were followed by six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, according to People. She described the treatment process as “gnarly.”

“In the beginning, I just sort of lay down for the parting of the cheeks and I would float away. Because what are you going to do?” she said.

“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!” she added.

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The star has been in remission for roughly a year and has been told the chances of cancer returning are slim. For this, Cross says she’s thankful — especially when she has to use the restroom.

“Every time I go to the bathroom, I think, ‘That’s awesome! Thank you, body,’” said Cross.