Michael Douglas Had Tongue Cancer, Not Throat Cancer: My Doctor Said To Lie

Michael Douglas has revealed he actually suffered from (and successfully battled!) tongue cancer – not throat cancer.

In an interview with the UK’s “This Morning” talk show, the 69-year-old explained why he lied about the diagnosis.

“This was right before I had a big tour for ‘Wall Street,’ so we said, ‘There’s no way we can cancel the tour and say we don’t feel well,’” the “Behind the Candelabra” Emmy-winning star said, of his daunting 2010 diagnosis. “I said, ‘You’ve just got to come out and just tell them I’ve got cancer and that’s it.’”

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The actor said it was his physician’s idea to withhold the truth regarding Michael’s condition, because if he was forced to undergo surgery, “It’s not going to be pretty.” (Tongue cancer can result in disfigurement for patients, who sometimes lose part of their tongue and jaw.)

“The surgeon said, ‘Let’s just say it’s throat cancer,’” he said.

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Fortunately, Michael beat the disease and has a clean bill of health. He will soon be seen on the big screen alongside Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman in “Last Vegas,” which opens in theaters on November 1.

-- Erin O’Sullivan

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