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

Henrietta Strickland
June 7, 2019

Cross is hoping to break down the taboo surrounding anal cancer. "You have cancer! Do you have to then also feel ashamed?"

"Should you then feel ashamed because it took up residence in your anus?"

As for her own recovery, Cross told CBS she's doing great.

Cross admitted that being comfortable enough to say the word "anus" out loud didn't happen overnight.

'Even for me, it took a while, ' she said. Anus, anus, anus! Ha. You just have to get used to it'.

Doctors now suspect that Cross' cancer and Mahoney's came from the same type of human papillomavirus, known as HPV.

The virus can be spread through sexual intercourse or skin-to-skin contact and can cause six types of cancers, including that of the cervix and genitals. Cross says her annual rectal exam saved her life. I mean lots of things in life are not fun. "But you can bear it", Cross said. "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.' It was like - what?! It blew my mind", she said.

It turns out her 2017 cancer diagnosis may be linked to the throat cancer her husband, Tom Mahoney, was diagnosed with in 2009, which recurred again nearly a decade later. "So it was a busy time", she said.

Cross was diagnosed with anal cancer in November 2017 and said she was initially ashamed of her diagnosis.

Pulling an unhappy face, she asked others if they had experienced hair loss in view of her 158,000 followers. She learned about this after her diagnosis and is eager to let others know about the available HPV vaccine, which could have prevented their cancers, and how important it is to get it.

As a parent, Cross was relieved to learn early immunization can protect the next generation.

"What are you talking about", she recalls of her reaction to the news. "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!

Although almost half of anal cancer cases are detected in the earliest stages, the five-year relative survival rate is a bit low at 67 percent compared to other cancers.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER