Cancer Type – Throat / Tongue Cancer

Short Bio – Michael Douglas an accomplished actor made a scene when he announced his cancer diagnosis in 2011, bringing major awareness to cancer caused by HPV. Read his story here…

Story – Doctor’s found a walnut sized tumor on the back of Micheal Douglas’ tongue, right before he was headed on a press tour for the film, ‘Wall Street’. The actor was forced to open up to the public and originally claimed he was suffering from throat cancer. He was quoted in his first announcement of his disease, “without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.” This statement quickly highlighted Douglas as the poster image for head and neck cancers caused by HPV around the world, and could be associated with the tipping point of HPV awareness.

However as recently as 2013, this statement was retracted and Mr. Douglas stated to People Magazine, that his surgeon recommended that they explain to the public that it was throat cancer to avoid questions about details of possible facial disfigurement if his tongue had to be operated on.

At an American Cancer Society event where he was honored with the Marvin Hamlisch Memorial Award, Michael Doulas clarified his position on his particular cancer, “Head and neck cancer can be caused by many things, including HPV virus, smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, genes, environment and stress,” the star continued. “I do not know what caused my particular cancer. If I did I’d have a Nobel Prize. I do know that I am here today because of all the incredible advances in cancer research and treatment. Early awareness is a key factor. If this episode contributes to public awareness, all the better.”

After radiation and chemotherapy to treat the tumor on his tongue, Michael Douglas is cancer free. Being one of the first to be associated with cancer caused by HPV (whether or not it was), we thank you Micheal for bringing awareness to this life-altering prognosis. People don’t want to talk about this stuff, and what you went through has helped others find hope.

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Image Credits – Georges Biard [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

BornMichael Kirk Douglas, September 25, 1944 (age 72), New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
CitizenshipUnited States, British (Bermuda)
EducationAllen-Stevenson School, Choate Rosemary Hall
Alma materUniversity of California, Santa Barbara (B.A. 1968)
OccupationActor, producer
Years active1966–present
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Diandra Luker (m. 1977; div. 1995), Catherine Zeta-Jones (m. 2000)
Children3, including Cameron Douglas
Parent(s)Kirk Douglas, Diana Dill
RelativesJoel Douglas (brother), Peter Douglas (half-brother), Eric Douglas (half-brother)