Many Hollywood celebrities have fought cancer throughout the years, and although some of them have been victorious, others have fought until the very end, giving it all they had. Many people have bravely spoken up about their experiences with cancer and their difficulties with the disease throughout the years.
Michael Douglas is one of the Hollywood stars who has fought cancer while also coping with memory loss in the short term and ageism. In an interview that took place in June 2013, the actor was frank about the circumstances that led to his diagnosis and recounted his tale with The Guardian. E! News would subsequently expose in 2018 and 2021 that he had been struggling with memory loss.
Douglas is both an accomplished actor and producer, having won several accolades for his work in films such as “Wall Street,” “Fatal Attraction,” and “The American President,” amongst a plethora of others. Carys and Dylan are the actor’s children from his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones, with whom he shares parenting responsibilities. Cameron is Douglas’s older son, and he comes from a previous marriage for the two of them.
After years of dealing with mouth pain, Douglas finally got a proper diagnosis in August of 2010, which was cancer. During an interview with The Guardian, Douglas openly admitted that oral sex was the root cause of his throat cancer since it exposed him to “HP (human papillomavirus).”
Tongue depressors were the tool that led a doctor in Montreal to discover the cancerous growth that had been ignored by other medical professionals. According to the actor’s explanation, “there was a walnut-size tumor at the base of my tongue that no other doctor had seen.” In addition to that, he disclosed:
“I did worry that the stress caused by my son’s incarceration might not have helped trigger it,” she said. However, this is a cancer-causing condition that is transferred via sexual contact. If you already have the condition, cunnilingus is also the most effective treatment for it.
The life-threatening condition was at first thought to be brought on by the actor’s habit of smoking and drinking; nevertheless, the actor has said that he does not regret any of these behaviors since the cancer was brought on by something else.
Following this revelation, the actor from “Traffic” was given a diagnosis of stage four cancer and immediately began undergoing extensive chemotherapy and radiation treatment for a period of eight weeks. Douglas’ palate was burned during the procedure; nonetheless, the actor refused to utilize a feeding tube, which resulted in his losing 20 kg after being put on a diet consisting primarily of liquids. He explained:
“Wow, that was a bumpy trip. That has the potential to sap a lot of your strength. In addition, the quantity of chemotherapy that I was receiving eliminated all of the beneficial substances. It caused me to become quite frail.
Thankfully, the therapy was successful, and the actor has now been declared cancer-free. Additionally, he said that he went to the doctor for checks every three months. In addition to this, the actor from “Falling Down” said that “with this kind of cancer, 95% of the time it doesn’t come back.” Douglas shared his thoughts on his road to rehabilitation. It came to his mind:
“All I cared about was that I was still alive. I couldn’t contain my joy. After overcoming cancer and emerging on the other side, the experience is comparable to that of a rebirth. You have the experience of being a kid.” He continued, saying, “You have a different order of priorities. You have a lot more profound regard for marriage and for your children; you see things a little bit more clearly and a little brighter.
A specialist head and neck surgeon in London named Mahesh Kumar, who was quoted in the article, said that “HPV type 16 is the causative agent in oropharyngeal cancer.” Because of this, even though Douglas’ sickness had progressed to a more severe stage, doctors still gave him an 80% chance of life.
Then, in March of 2021, Douglas disclosed the fact that he had been suffering from short-term memory loss. The actor was quite frank and honest about his memory loss, even going so far as to admit that his forgetfulness was no longer acceptable. He said that before, he had believed that the disease was brought on by the use of marijuana. However, after doing some study, he said that he realized that his inaction throughout the epidemic had been an issue for him.
While chatting to AARP Magazine, the actor from “The War of the Roses” said that during the COVID-19 time, he was doing “more couch potato-ing” and was startled at how much his energy had decreased. He continued:
“And although my memory for the long term is strong, my recall for the short term is poor. I used to say that it was because of cannabis. However, I have a few acquaintances who have smoked for as long as I have and have fantastic memories, so I don’t believe that’s the problem here. I’m looking into that right now.”
During the 2018 AFI Fest premiere of “The Kominsky Method,” a Netflix series on which Douglas served as an executive producer, he reportedly gave an interview in which he discussed how he accepted growing older. This interview was published in People. He explained:
“I’m old enough to appreciate that this is a good time in one’s life, and not taking it for granted,” she said. “I’m not going to take it for granted.” He continued by saying, “I’m grateful for a good marriage, good kids, no problem, and my health.”
The actor also commented about how, before to taking on the film, he had not recognized himself as an aging man. This was portrayed in “The Kominsky Method,” which discussed aging and the human condition in great depth. However, he said that after reading the screenplay, he realized that he could identify to it, which led him to accept the idea that people become older as they get older.