For a while it was simply deemed a "tumor." Then it became "cancer." Now it has been revealed that actor Michael Douglas has Stage 4 throat cancer.
Most Advanced Stage
According to MSNBC, Douglas appeared on David Letterman's late night talk show, and said he had just finished his first week of radiation therapy. Since stage 4 cancer is the most advanced stage there is, the treatment must be aggressive. His announcement of stage 4 "drew gasps from the audience."
Unfortunately, stage 4 cancers have spread beyond the original tumor site, and are often incurable.
80% Chance of Survival
Michael Douglas is 65-years old, and maintains that even though this is stage 4 throat cancer, he has an 80% chance of beating it.
"And with certain hospitals and everything, it does improve," he told David Letterman.
CBS News reports that Douglas is indeed fighting a very tough battle. His tumor is located i the base of his tongue, which is not only serious, but uncomfortable as well. Since radiation can leave burning effects, the discomfort has likely not yet reached its peak. The cancer was discovered after Michael Douglas experienced several weeks of throat and ear pain.
It is likely that Michael Douglas will have to endure some tube feedings since the after effects of the radiation are likely to cause severe mouth and throat sores. These effects of the radiation can last for months after treatments have stopped.
Catherine Zeta-Jones is Michael Douglas' wife, and maintains that her husband's strength will see him through this ordeal.
She recently told People Magazine, " "if there's anything Michael has, it's strength."
Hopefully Michael Douglas will tap his deepest and innermost reserves and find a source of strength that will see him through these treatments for his stage 4 throat cancer, and one day find him on the road to recovery.
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