Michael Douglas Blames Cancer on Oral Sex

Actor says HPV is cause—not years of smoking and boozing

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 2, 2013 2:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Actor Michael Douglas says his throat cancer was not caused by years of heavy smoking and drinking—it was caused by a sexually transmitted disease contracted via oral sex. "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. "It's a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer. And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it."

A head and neck surgeon confirmed that cancer-causing HPV is a very real thing. "It has been established beyond reasonable doubt that the HPV type 16 is the causative agent in oropharyngeal cancer," he said. However, the doctor questioned Douglas' assertion that oral sex could also help cure the disease. "Maybe he thinks that more exposure to the virus will boost his immune system. But medically, that just doesn't make sense."

Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones.   (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Michael Douglas is shown during the 2011 Golden Globe Awards.
Michael Douglas is shown during the 2011 Golden Globe Awards.   (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)
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