Michael Douglas: I Lied About My Cancer

Actor admits he didn't really have stage IV throat cancer

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 11, 2013 2:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Michael Douglas didn't tell us the whole truth when he announced in 2010 that he had stage IV throat cancer, Fox News reports. The actor now admits he actually had tongue cancer, but didn't say so because tongue-cancer surgery can be quite horrible—and he wanted to keep things upbeat before embarking on a tour for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. He decided to "come out and just tell them I’ve got cancer and that’s it," Douglas said today.

"The surgeon said let’s just say it’s throat cancer. I said, 'OK, you don’t want to say it’s tongue cancer?'" said Douglas in an interview with Samuel L. Jackson on the British talk show This Morning. "I said, 'Why’s that?' and he said, 'Well if you really want to know why, if we do have to have surgery it’s not going to be pretty. You’ll lose part of your jaw and your tongue and all that stuff.'" One bright spot for Douglas, however: The survival rate for people with tongue cancer is a healthy 85%. And Douglas says his tumor is gone and he has beaten late-stage cancer.

Actor Michael Douglas enters a car following the screening of Behind the Candelabra at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 21, 2013.
Actor Michael Douglas enters a car following the screening of Behind the Candelabra at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Michael Douglas accepts the award for for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie for his role in “Behind The Candelabra” at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 22, 2013, in Los Angeles.
Michael Douglas accepts the award for for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie for his role in “Behind The Candelabra” at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 22, 2013, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
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