We are honored to be partners with Marcia Cross as she shares her anal cancer journey. 

On CBS News this week, Marcia talked about her experience with Dr Jon LaPook. Her objective: for people to feel confident -- not embarrassed or afraid -- talking to their clinician about their symptoms or diagnosis."I know there are people who are ashamed. You have cancer!" Cross told LaPook. "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." 

There should be no taboo when discussing these issues.

Our mission at the Anal Cancer Foundation is to inform and empower anal cancer patients.

It starts with one person, one story to change the conversation. Many anal cancer thrivers and caregivers have shared with us their story, and we want to hear from everyone.

Do you have a story to share about your anal cancer experience? Learning from others about their experience with anal cancer can be helpful, informative, and a great way for thrivers to feel connected. To share your story, please email us at info@analcancerfoundation.org with ‘Share my Thriver Story’ in the subject line

Help us dictate the narrative by sharing your experience. Marcia has and you can, too.

You can read the stories about Marcia’s experience via the links below.

People Magazine: Marcia Cross Is Sharing Her Anal Cancer Story in the Hopes of Ending the 'Stigma'

CBS:Why "Desperate Housewives" star Marcia Cross is so eager to talk about anal cancer

In addition, the CBS story raised the importance of prevention. Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is the causal agent of over 90% of anal cancers. But that is not the full story. HPV is the causal agent of 5% of all cancers, and the vast majority of us will have the virus at some stage in our lives. The major risk for getting HPV therefore is simply by being human.

HPV-related cancer-- whether of the anus, the throat, the cervix -- could be happen to anyone.

There is however a simple solution. We can prevent HPV-related cancers simply by vaccinating both our daughters and sons against HPV. Those vaccines already exist, and you should speak to your clinician about protecting your children.