Michael Douglass, the 68 year old actor and throat cancer survivor recently opened up about the cause of his cancer, blaming the unexpected culprit of oral sex. The near fatal throat cancer was diagnosed three years ago, and required a grueling six month recovery for him to bounce back.
In the interview with the Guardian, Douglass was asked if he regret his years of drinking and smoking. This seemed to be an appropriate question considering these are two of the most common causes of throat cancer. The answer however was quite a shock. He began with a simple “no” and then explained that this was “because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”
Suffering with oral discomfort for several months in 2010 before going to get it checked out, Douglass was eventually diagnosed with stave IV oral throat cancer in August, as reported by the Guardian. Doctors had initially failed to notice the tumor, but a second doctor was able to find the walnut size tumor that was somehow missed by the first doctor.
Initially Michael Douglass, who is married to Catherine Zeta-Jones, believed that stress due to his son’s incarceration was partly to blame for the cancer, but later found out that it was caused by a disease contracted via oral sex. Light hearted upon his reflection of his experience with the disease, he noted that although cunnilingus, oral sex, caused the disease that “if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it.”
There is reason for the 68 year old Douglass to be positive about his future however. There have been no signs of the cancer returning, “and with this kind of cancer, 95% of the time it doesn’t come back.” He has still kept up on his check ups, going in for one every six months for the past two and a half years he has been cancer free.
The Oral Cancer Foundation has linked only one type of HPV to oral sex, HPV 16. The disease appears in the back of the throat and mouth, fitting what Douglass described as oral and tooth pain for almost a year prior to the discovery of the tumor.
Radiation and chemo therapy left the actor’s tongue singed, yet he stubbornly refused a feeding tube during the grueling eight week treatment. Sticking to an all liquid diet during this time, he lost an incredible 45 pounds. With a limited caloric intake because of of the liquid diet, “plus the amount of chemo [he] was getting, it zaps all the good stuff, too. It made [him] very weak.”
Cancer free for a significant period, and able to open up about his disease, Michael Douglass has returned to his acting career. Recent works include the movie Liberace and HBO’s Behind the Candelabra.
So Michael Douglass may not be crazy for thinking that oral sex caused his cancer according to researchers who have linked the strain HPV16 to oral cancer. This is not a likely event, however and is not something you need to worry about. Oral sex may be risque behavior for some, however despite oral sex causing Michael Douglass’ cancer because of an STD, it is not the riskiest behavior for your health.
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The Guardian Express