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Michael Douglas Reveals He Lied About Having Throat Cancer

Oct 11, 2013 08:24 PM ET
by Kate Stanhope

Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas revealed in a new interview Friday that he lied about having stage four throat cancer.

When speaking with Samuel L. Jackson on the U.K. talk show This Morning, the recent Emmy winner said he was actually diagnosed with tongue cancer.

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“This was right before I had a big tour for [the sequel to] Wall Street, so we kind of said, ‘There’s no way we can cancel the tour and say we don’t feel well,’” Douglas said. “I said, ‘You’ve just got to come out and just tell them I’ve got cancer and that’s it.’”

Douglas, 69, explained that his doctor advised that he might not want to publicly disclose that he had a disease with such a negative prognosis. Many who are diagnosed suffer from facial disfigurement. “The surgeon said, ‘Let’s just say it’s throat cancer,’” Douglas said, adding that that the doctor told him that if they had to do surgery for tongue cancer “it’s not going to be pretty.” His doctor also said that Douglas faced losing part of his jaw and tongue.

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Douglas underwent aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment and was declared tumor-free in January 2011.

Douglas next stars in Last Vegas, which hits theaters nationwide on Friday, Nov. 1.