In a candid interview, Marcia Cross revealed how she is coping after she battled anal cancer for over a year. She said it took her some time to get back to normal after her treatments.
The "Desperate Housewives" star was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2017, following a digital rectal exam with her gynecologist that prompted two further biopsies and one colonoscopy check up. Her doctor said hers was likely caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which can also cause cervical, throat, and genital cancer.
Cross immediately went into a treatment plan that involved 28 radiation sessions and two week-long courses of chemotherapy. The 58-year-old "Melrose Place" alum said the "gnarly" side effects of her treatments hit her hard. She was in pain, had gastric problems, mouth sores, and skin reactions.
"I will say that when I had my first chemo treatment, I thought I was doing great. And then out of nowhere, I felt this sting in my lip; it was excruciating. It was from the chemo," Cross said in an interview with Coping magazine.
"So I did learn after that to be proactive and get ahead of things because I thought, I don't need that rinse, or these drugs, or whatever, and then I found myself in the thick of it, and I had gastric problems, mouth sores, all the terrible things that can happen with chemotherapy...It's certainly not fun," she added.
Regardless, Cross said she was "kind of ready for what was to come" because she researched about her diagnosis. She read about it on the Anal Cancer Foundation website where they "were pretty specific about things." She was also happy that others were very honest about their experience because "doctors like to play it down."
Cross has been in remission since 2018 but it took her body a while to get back to normal following her treatments. Her new normal now involves being sensitive about what she eats and taking better care of herself and her diet. She is also thankful that her "thorough, wonderful gynecologist" detected her anal cancer early on and she received a good prognosis. She said she owes her life to her doctor.