The Word: Michael Douglas now says he had tongue cancer, not throat

Michael Douglas is now saying he had tongue, not throat, cancer. Credit: Getty Images
Michael Douglas is now saying he had tongue, not throat, cancer. Credit: Getty Images

Michael Douglas admits he wasn’t entirely upfront about his 2010 cancer diagnosis, revealing in an interview on the U.K. talk show “This Morning” that he didn’t actually have throat cancer after all — it was actually tongue cancer. Can he get his cancers straight, please? It’s really getting confusing for us gossip columnists.

“[My doctor] said, ‘Let’s just say it’s throat cancer. We don’t want to say it’s tongue cancer,’” Douglas remembers. The reason? As his doctor explained, “‘If we do have to do surgery, it’s not going to be pretty.’”

But Douglas says that’s all behind him now. “With my type of cancer, if you’re clean after two years, there’s a 95 percent chance it’s not coming back,” he explains.

So what was that whole “my cancer was caused by HPV” thing that we all went through together a few months ago?

“Without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus,” Douglas told the Guardian. After he said that, everyone went crazy. Remember that? So does HPV cause tongue cancer or what? If not, where did that statement come from? Can we get Dr. Oz on the phone, please?

Douglas recently seperated from his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and the cancer (whatever kind it is) as well as Zeta-Jones’ bipolar disorder are partly to blame. “The [health] stress has taken a toll on their marriage,” a source tells People magazine.

The couple has yet to file for divorce, and friends are hopeful that they may yet reconcile. ”They want the best for their kids, no matter what happens,” a friend says.


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