Actor Michael Douglas says oral sex is the reason behind his stage 4 throat cancer.
In an interview with Britain’s The Guardian, Douglas discussed his role in the Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra” and his throat cancer which was diagnosed in August 2010.
Douglas said doctors missed the walnut-sized tumor at the back of his tongue after he suffered with throat irritation for months. Douglas finally went to see a friend’s doctor in Montreal who used a tongue depressor to look inside his mouth.
“”I will always remember the look on his face,” Douglas said previously. “He said: ‘We need a biopsy.’ There was a walnut-size tumour at the base of my tongue that no other doctor had seen,” said Douglas.
When asked if he regretted smoking and drinking, which was thought to be the causative factors of his cancer, the 68-year-old actor said, “No. Because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”
Douglas told The Guardian his once terminal cancer was cured after enduring eight weeks of intensive chemotherapy and radiation — and partaking in regular sessions of cunnilingus.
HPV, the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, anal cancer and genital warts, is thought to be the leading cause behind the recent rise in throat cancers.
Recent studies of 1,316 patients with oral cancer found that 57% of them were HPV-16 positive.
“It has been established beyond reasonable doubt that the HPV type 16 is the causative agent in oropharyngeal cancer,” said Mahesh Kumar, a consultant head and neck surgeon in London.
But Kumar expressed doubt that Douglas’s throat cancer was caused by HPV, and he suggested that Douglas may be misguided in his belief that oral sex helped cure his cancer.
“Maybe he thinks that more exposure to the virus will boost his immune system. But medically, that just doesn’t make sense,” said Kumar.
Douglas is married to actress Catherine Zeta Jones, who was recently admitted to a healthcare facility to treat her bipolar disorder.
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