Michael Douglas’ work as an actor and director has earned him numerous honors. Like his father, Kirk Douglas, the actor has earned international fame. The celebrity’s entire life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with a deadly illness.
The BAFTA winner began his career in the late 1960s and rose to prominence with the film adaptation of the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. When he married Catherine Zeta-Jones, he made headlines as well.
On the other hand, Douglas was suffering from throat cancer, apart from his hectic work schedule and glittering Hollywood lifestyle.
Despite the gravity of his predicament, the actor spoke openly about his health issues, saying he never expected to die.
“I know that seems ridiculous, but throughout the entire course of chemotherapy and radiation, I never considered death,” he added.
“My mum died when she was 92,” he commented.
Douglas told fellow actor Samuel L Jackson that his doctor recommended he publish a statement confirming his throat cancer diagnosis. However, if surgery had been required, his acting career might have ended.
The surgeon warned Douglas that he might lose some of his tongue and jaw.
Douglas gave the Guardian an unexpected interview two years after his recovery in which he revealed further details about his cancer struggle, including the cause.
“HPV” was the “cause” of tongue cancer; he informed the newspaper because the sexually transmitted disease HPV (human papillomavirus) also causes cancer.
Despite his openness in the interview, the star felt compelled to clarify his words in the aftermath of a public outpouring of rage.
Douglas’ spokesman told CNN that the actor did not blame his cancer on HPV because he smoked and drank. According to an official statement:
“Never did Michael Douglas alleges that cunnilingus was the cause of his cancer.” Although the narrative’s experts recognize that oral sex may lead to some mouth cancers, he does not explicitly imply that oral sex caused his condition.”
Douglas was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer when a “walnut-sized growth” near the base of his tongue was identified. He subsequently began an intensive eight-week chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
“Wow, what an adventure. That was exhausting,” he said.
“Plus, the chemotherapy I received eliminated all the beautiful stuff. It made me quite feeble.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just half of the people diagnosed with oral cancer survive five years after their diagnosis. The most common reason for this is a delayed diagnosis.
Detecting the warning signs and symptoms of tongue cancer is critical, according to Cancer Research UK, because it can occur on both the oral tongue, the bit that sticks out, and the base of the tongue.