Cross, 57, is now in remission, and speaking out about the dangers of the STD. The former Desperate Housewives star appeared on CBS This Morning to promote early prevention against HPV and encourage people to get the HPV vaccine.
“I know there are people who are ashamed. You have cancer! You have to then also feel ashamed? Like you did something bad, you know, because it took up residence in your anus? I mean, come on, really. There's enough on your plate." Cross said.
"Even for me, it took a while. Anus, anus, anus! Ha. You just have to get used to it.”
According to the CDC, HPV causes more than 90 percent of anal cancers, and can spread from one person to another through sex or just by skin-to-skin contact. Back in 2009 her husband, Tom Mahoney, was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent treatment. Little did the couple know the cancers would end up being related.
In September 2018, after a grueling battle of her own, including six weeks of radiation then two weeks of chemo, Cross finally revealed she was cancer-free.
“I am POST cancer. All good now. Hard journey, but I am HEALTHY, happy, and more present and grateful than ever,” she shared on Instagram. Thank you from the bottom of my ever expanding heart for all of your LOVE.”
Now well-educated on the disease and its dangers, Cross highly recommends early immunization. She said her daughters are up for their first shot at the end of the school year.
As for her own recovery, Cross told CBS she's doing great.
"I'm feeling back to normal though it's a new normal," she said. "I don't think I'll ever take it 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.'"