marcia mcross and husband

Award winning actress Marcia Cross reveals past anal cancer battle in an interview earlier this week. The “Desperate Housewives” star appeared on “CBS This Morning” and discussed her diagnosis.

Cross, 57 explained that the discovery came about as a result of a colorectal exam during a routine visit to her gynecologist. “I was so not thinking anything was wrong because I didn’t have any symptoms, and she gave me an exam and came around and said, ‘Well, I just want you to know, whatever it is it’s curable,’ ” Cross said. “It was like ‘What? What are you talking about?’

The actress is openly discussing her cancer battle to help reduce the shame associated with the condition. “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?”

Her husband, Tom Mahoney, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2009. Doctors now suspect that Cross’ cancer and Mahoney’s came from the same type of human papillomavirus, known as HPV. Both Cross and husband are now in remission after several rounds of radiation and chemotherapy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 79 million Americans are infected with some type of Human papillomavirus (HPV). It is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Some health effects caused by HPV can be prevented by the HPV vaccines. It’s spread through having vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who has the virus, even when the person is not exhibiting symptoms. Patients who have HPV may not know they do until years after infection. HPV is the virus that causes certain types of cervical cancers.