Farrah Fawcett's Anal Cancer: Fighting the Stigma

But treatment for anal cancer is often very effective, and most patients with this cancer can be cured. Fawcett's openness about her anal cancer, which included a documentary about her experience that aired in May, raised awareness about the disease.

"Her openness and honesty about this disease has probably helped to heal a lot of people. So she may have done a significant service by doing that," Brooks said. "You've got a woman who was known as a sex symbol who had a great deal of inner character and helped a great deal of other people."

ABC News' Joanna Schaffhausen contributed to this report.

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