In an effort to end the shame surrounding HPV-related cancers, actress Marcia Cross shares her personal story with anal cancer as well as her husband's with throat cancer. 

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease. It is spread through oral, vaginal and anal contact. Most infections do not cause cancer, however, high risk HPV infections can lead to cancer. There are at least 100 strains of HPV with at least 12 of these high-risk strains. Nonetheless, strain types 6, 11, 16 and 18, cause the majority of HPV-related cancers. Vaccination may protect against some of these high risk strains. 

Cross demonstrated no symptoms of cancer and was diagnosed by her gynecologist during a routine check. She plans to have her children vaccinated. Both Cross and her husband are currently in remission.

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