Michael Douglas is battling back against cancer….Pretty moving stuff.
Two weeks after revealing doctors had found a tumor in the actor’s throat, the Oscar-winning son of Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas has come out swinging, proving that he isn’t taking the diagnosis lying down. Douglas says he faces an “eight-week struggle” against Stage IV throat cancer but is optimistic and has about an 80% chance of recovery.
Douglas received the diagnosis of throat cancer in early August after suffering persistent throat and ear pain. During an appearance on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman Tuesday, the actor said he had just finished his first week of radiation and chemotherapy.
“It had been bothering me for a while. … In early summer, I had a really sore throat, early in the summer, and I actually went through a litany of doctors and tests and they didn’t find anything,” says the 65-year-old actor, who is undergoing a grueling course of radiation and chemotherapy to treat a tumor at the base of his tongue.
The diagnosis capped what Douglas calls “a pretty intense year” that also saw his oldest son Cameron, 31, sentenced to five years in prison on drug charges. However, the Basic Instinct actor blames a combination of drinking and smoking for his health woes.
“This particular type of cancer is caused by alcohol and drinking,” he told Dave.
Chicago actress Catherine Zeta-Jones admits having a hard time watching her husband battle throat cancer and has told PEOPLE Magazine that she is furious with doctors for not detecting his disease sooner.
“It makes me furious they didn’t detect it earlier,” Catherine fumes. “He sought every option and nothing was found.”
The actress has been married to Douglas for 10 years and the couple have two children together, Dylan, 10, and Carys, 7.
“I know maybe I should be stronger, but emotionally I just don’t want to see that…The hardest part is seeing his fatigue, because Michael is never tired.”
Douglas stars in the upcoming film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, a sequel to Oliver Stone’s Wall Street for which he won a Best Actor Oscar nearly 25 years ago. However, Michael’s illness will sideline him from production duties. Michael has confirmed he will have to pull out of some international events.
“It is going to cut into the foreign promotional tour for Wall Street to say the least.”
Letterman ended the interview by asking Douglas: “Wow, boy, I feel like I want to do something for you. Can I do something for you?”
“Ahh, give me a hug,” Douglas smiled.
The two men embraced as the audience rose for a standing ovation.