Oscar-winning US actor Michael Douglas, 65, is fighting throat cancer and will undergo chemotherapy, People magazine reported on Monday. Hollywood royalty Douglas was set to receive eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatment, his spokesman told People online.
His doctors expect “Wall Street” star to make a full recovery, the spokesman added. “I am very optimistic,” Douglas said in a statement. A spokesman for the actor would not confirm the type of cancer, when it was discovered, or when treatment would begin. He also declined to answer any questions on Douglas’s history of smoking.
Larynx cancers are usually related to smoking and heavy drinking. Chemotherapy is often used in conjunction with radiation for more advanced throat cancers. Although the treatment is very tough, it can cure 50% to 80% of patients, depending on the location and other details of the tumor, says Dr. Robert Haddad, from the head and neck cancer program at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who has no direct knowledge of the case.
However, the prognosis is less hopeful if the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or lymph nodes. More over in 2006 Douglas and his wife were both trying to stop smoking. At the time they were said to be each smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day.
Cancers around the tonsils, meanwhile, are usually caused by a virus known as HPV, which also causes cervical cancer. It was not clear which type of cancer the actor is suffering from. Cancers of the mouth and throat are more common in men and people over the age of 45.
The news comes ahead of the premiere of Douglas’ latest movie, Oliver Stone’s sequel “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” due to open in theaters Sept. 24. It’s unclear whether his treatment will affect the promotion of the highly anticipated follow-up to 1987’s “Wall Street.”
Michael Douglas married Catherine Zeta-Jones in 2000. They have two children. He also has a son Cameron, from his first marriage to Diandra Douglas. In April Cameron Douglas was sentenced to five years in prison on drug charges (see the photo above.)
In a bid to keep Cameron from a long stint in jail, Douglas hand-wrote an impassioned, five-page letter to Manhattan federal judge Richard Berman, referring to his family’s history of drug abuse.
“Dear Judge Berman,” he wrote, “I don’t want to burden you with a litany of my son, Cameron’s rehab history, beginning at 13. He’s an adult and responsible for his own life. We do know, however, that genes, family, and peer pressure are all a strong influence on a substance abuser.”
Michael Douglas suggested that his family’s fame – he is the son of Kirk Douglas, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the 1950s and ’60s – could be to blame for his son’s dependence on drugs. “I have some idea of the pressure of finding your own identity with a famous father,” he wrote. “I’m not sure I can comprehend it with two generations to deal with.”
Douglas told the Sun-Times that when he first became a father, the travel involved with making movies forced him to be away from Cameron. He said he doesn’t want to make the same mistake with his children with Zeta-Jones, Dylan, 10 and Carys, 7.
“My priorities have completely changed. My marriage and my families come certainly before my career,” he said.”I cherish the time with them. I’m picking a lot fewer projects now. It’s tough to get me out of the house.” [via ABC News, People and Daily Mail (UK)]