6.02.2013

Michael Douglas Says Cunnilingus Caused Cancer in His Throat

Actor reveals to the Guardian that HPV, transmitted through oral sex, was responsible for his throat cancer

The Basic Instinct star Michael Douglas has revealed that his throat cancer was apparently caused by performing oral sex.

In a surprisingly frank interview with the Guardian, the Hollywood actor, now winning plaudits in the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, explained the background to a condition that was thought to be nearly fatal when diagnosed three years ago.

Asked whether he now regretted his years of smoking and drinking, thought to be the cause of the disease, Douglas replied: "No. Because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus."

Douglas, the husband of Catherine Zeta Jones, continued: "I did worry if the stress caused by my son's incarceration didn't help trigger it. But yeah, it's a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer. And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it."

The actor, now 68, was diagnosed with cancer in August 2010, following many months of oral discomfort. But a series of specialists missed the tumour and instead prescribed antibiotics. Douglas then went to see a friend's doctor in Montreal who looked inside his mouth using a tongue depressor.

"I will always remember the look on his face," Douglas has previously said. "He said: 'We need a biopsy.' There was a walnut-size tumour at the base of my tongue that no other doctor had seen."

Shortly afterwards he was diagnosed with stage four cancer, which is often terminal, and embarked on an intensive eight-week course of chemotherapy and radiation. He refused to use a feeding tube, despite his palate being burnt on account of the treatment, and so lost 20kg (45lb) on a liquids-only diet. "That's a rough ride. That can really take it out of you," he told the Guardian. "Plus the amount of chemo I was getting, it zaps all the good stuff too. It made me very weak."

The treatment worked and Douglas is now more than two years clear of cancer. He has check-ups every six months, he said, "and with this kind of cancer, 95% of the time it doesn't come back".

Get more details at: The Guardian


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