Michael Douglas has backtracked after hitting the headlines by saying his throat cancer was caused by oral sex instead of smoking and drinking. The actor's publicist now says that he wasn't talking about his own cancer being caused by the human papilloma virus, the BBC reports. The reversal prompted the Guardian to release audio of its interview with Douglas, in which the actor says he doesn't regret his years of smoking and drinking, because "this particular cancer is caused by something called HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus."
At an American Cancer Society event in New York last night, Douglas said he had been trying to raise awareness of the link between HPV and throat cancer, the New York Daily News reports. "I've become, I think, in the past 24 hours a sort of poster boy for oral cancer, and just so you all understand, I think we would all love to know where our cancer comes from," he told the audience. "I simply, to a reporter, tried to give a little PSA announcement about HPV, a virus that can cause oral cancer, and is one of the few areas of cancer that can be controlled and there are vaccinations that kids can get."