Actor Michael Douglas Diagnosed with Throat Cancer


Veteran actor and Oscar winner Michael Douglas has been diagnosed with throat cancer and will undergo radiation and chemotherapy, according to a report by ABC News. Representatives for Douglas, 65, have said that his treatment will be about eight weeks and doctors expect him to “make a full recovery.”

Smoking and tobacco use are the greatest risk factor for developing throat cancer. Reports today said the actor was previously a heavy smoker, giving up his half-pack-a-day habit in 2006. Alcohol consumption is another risk factor.

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Treatment for smaller tumors includes surgery or radiation therapy alone. If a tumor is larger, or has spread to the lymph nodes in the neck, a combination of radiation and chemotherapy is often used to preserve the larynx.

Most cancers of the throat develop in adults older than 50. Men are 10 times more likely than women to develop tumors. Throat cancers can be cured in 90% of patients if detected early. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or the lymph nodes, 50-60% of patients can be cured.

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Symptoms of throat cancer include abnormal (high-pitched) breathing sounds, cough, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or sore throat that does not resolve in 1-2 weeks, neck pain or swelling, and unintentional weight loss.

Mr. Douglas has said that he is “very optimistic.” The actor’s latest film, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”, will debut in theaters on September 24.