How Michael Douglas Really Got Cancer by the Forward

How Michael Douglas Really Got Cancer

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Michael Douglas has revealed that it wasn’t smoking or drinking that caused his stage four throat cancer — it was oral sex.

In a straightforward interview with the UK’s The Guardian, Douglas, 68, said that his cancer was related to the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Asked whether or not he regretted his years of boozing and smoking, thought to be at the root of his illness, the actor replied: “No. Because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”

The “Behind the Candelabra” star, married to Catherine Zeta-Jones, added: “I did worry if the stress caused by my son’s incarceration didn’t help trigger it. But yeah, it’s a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer. And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it.”

The actor was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer in August 2010, after seeing a specialist in Montreal.

“I will always remember the look on his face,” Douglas said. “He said: ‘We need a biopsy.’ There was a walnut-size tumour at the base of my tongue that no other doctor had seen.”

Despite his slim chances, Douglas has been cancer-free for two years. He undergoes check-ups regularly, he said, “and with this kind of cancer, 95% of the time it doesn’t come back”.


Anne Cohen

Anne Cohen

Anne Cohen was the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.

How Michael Douglas Really Got Cancer

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