Michael Douglas Talks With Billy Bush About Battling Cancer: ‘I’m Back’
First Published: January 10, 2011 6:42 PM EST Credit: Access Hollywood
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- After months of battling stage four throat cancer and undergoing intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Michael Douglas has confirmed to Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush that his cancerous tumor is gone.
“I’m back,” Michael told Billy about his good news. “My tumor is gone…but I probably won’t be clicking my heels for another two or three months.”
Michael said he’s still doing his research in regards to whether or not the tumor should have been diagnosed by doctors earlier, as he said he first noticed signs that something was wrong in January of last year.
“I went and saw a round of doctors in January-February [and] they didn’t pick up anything. They gave me some antibiotics and then I went and saw a round of doctors again in May and still nothing. Then my tongue started bothering me and by the time I took off for the summer and came back in August, I told my doctor ‘Hey, something’s going on,’” Michael told Billy.
Michael finally went to see a specialist in August who noticed the growth under his tongue and performed a biopsy that confirmed the tumor was cancerous. Michael went on to to say that, unfortunately, by that time, the cancer had already progressed to stage four.
“I understand…it’s a very difficult cancer tumor to find. It was under the tongue [and] it’s unusual, but I’m still doing my homework on it,” Michael explained. “I would say I have not forgiven…stage two would have been nicer than stage four.”
Disturbing tabloid images of Michael, who had shed 25 pounds after undergoing his rigorous treatments, showed that the disease had taken a toll on his body. The images prompted a 10-day visit from his concerned father, Kirk.
“He was worried and I didn’t see any of this stuff and he kept calling me and I’d say, ‘I think I’m OK,’ He says “Are you sure?’” Michael recounted.
Michael said he plans to change his diet and stay away from alcohol and tobacco, two substances which may have caused the cancerous growth.
”I’m going to change my diet a lot based on what I’ve learned,” he said. “I’m sure I’m still going to have a glass of wine or two, but this particular cancer was motivated in a large part by alcohol and tobacco smoking.”
Michael told Billy that his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, was a “complete rock” for him throughout his treatments.
“She was wonderful about it…very supportive,” he said. “I’m much more aware of time…how you choose to spend your time. I’m more deeply in love with my family and friends. I appreciate things so much more now. ”
Michael is nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his work in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” and plans to attend the awards show this Sunday, January 16, with Catherine.
Michael said that he is “very appreciative” of the nomination and looks forward to attending this weekend.
“It will be nice to get out. I haven’t been out for awhile,” he said.
Not wasting any time going back to work, the actor has already started to prepare for his next role, playing Liberace. As part of the process he admits he and co-star Matt Damon have started sending flirty texts back and forth.
“‘What kind of chapstick are you using this week sweetie?’” he joked, referring to one of his texts with Matt. “It goes with the territory.”
For more, tune in to Access Hollywood Live on Tuesday, January 11 and Access Hollywood on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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