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Housewives Star: My Cancer Is Linked to My Husband's

Marcia Cross, Tom Mahoney both had cancer caused by HPV
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2019 12:38 PM CDT

(Newser) Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross was diagnosed with anal cancer—and she says it's linked with the throat cancer her husband was diagnosed with in 2009. Doctors believe both cancers are from the same type of human papillomavirus, or HPV, which can be contracted through sexual intercourse. Cross, 57, spoke about her diagnosis, which she received a year and a half ago, on CBS This Morning to destigmatize anal cancer. "I know that there are people who are ashamed," she said. "You have cancer. Should you then also feel like ashamed like you did something bad because it took up residence in your anus?"

Both Cross and her husband, actor Tom Mahoney, are now in remission, CNN reports. And Cross says she aims to make sure their daughters, 12-year-old twins, never contract HPV. "My girls don't know it, but they're up for their first shot the end of the school year," she says. Early immunization can prevent the types of the virus that most often cause cancer. HPV can also cause cervical and genital cancer, and it can be spread through skin-to-skin contact as well. Cross says she'll never take her health for granted: "I'm the girl who goes to the bathroom now and I go, 'Yes! It's great what my body can do!' I'm so grateful." (HPV-fueled cancer might have killed ancient Egyptians.)

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