Michael Douglas says he’s begun treatment for throat cancer, which he attributed to smoking and drinking, and said his odds of recovery are high, even though the cancer is at an advanced stage.
In an appearance Tuesday on David Letterman’s “Late Show,” the actor said he faces an “eight-week struggle” that includes radiation and chemotherapy.
A biopsy indicated that his cancer was at stage IV, which he described as “intense, and so they’ve got to go at it …” according to a transcript provided by CBS.
His comment evoked an audible reaction from the audience, prompting Letterman asked whether stage IV was a good diagnosis.
“Um no,” Douglas replied.
“No, you like to be down at stage I … but it has not — the big thing you’re always worried about is it spreading … and the expectations are good …
Douglas said he has at least an 80 percent chance of recovery.
He said his throat had been bothersome and doctors put him through a battery of tests this summer summer, but found nothing.
When the problems persisted, he underwent a biopsy, and his advanced cancer was finally detected.
He said he felt frustrated when the doctors coulden’t find anything, “because I was on it early in the summer and started complaining about something, but they couldn’t see it then.”
Letterman told Douglas he looked good and was a “tough guy,” and he hugged Douglas when the interview was over, according to a CBS statement.
Douglas stars in the upcoming film “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” a sequel to “Wall Street” (1987), for which he won a best-actor Oscar.
Douglas reportedly plans to not let the cancer stop him from promoting the movie.