Actor Michael Douglas said today he had begun treatment for throat cancer and that his odds of recovery were high.
In an appearance on David Letterman’s Late Show, Douglas, 65, said he faced an “eight-week struggle” that included radiation and chemotherapy.
But the Oscar-winning 'Wall Street' star, who is married to British actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, said he had at least an 80% chance of recovery.
Letterman told Douglas he looked good and was a “tough guy”, and the men ended the interview with a hug, according to a CBS statement.
Douglas is starring in the upcoming Wall Street sequel 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps'.
Talk show host Letterman said he was surprised after Douglas said he had just finished his first week of radiation and chemotherapy.
“You’ve never looked better to me, and this proves that you’re a tough guy, for God’s sakes,” Letterman said, drawing cheers from the studio audience.
“Let’s just say ... I’m pretty lit up right now,” Douglas replied.
The disease was diagnosed three weeks ago, he said, although he had complained of a very sore throat earlier this year and had undergone testing that failed to find a cause.
Douglas, who has two children with Zeta-Jones, said he enjoyed the summer travelling with his family before returning to the doctor.
A biopsy found he had late, stage-four cancer, “which is intense, and so they’ve had to go at it”, he said.
Douglas, however, said that the cancer remained above the neck and that meant expectations were good, with an 80% or better chance of recovery.
Asked by Letterman about his personal habits, he said he had smoked and drank.
According to a National Institutes of Health website, use of tobacco or alcohol are among the factors that put people at risk of developing throat cancer. Combining tobacco and drinking increases the risk.
Most throat cancer develops in people over 50, with men more likely to get the disease, the NIH site says.
Letterman wished Douglas good luck, then said: “Wow, boy, I feel like I want to do something for you. Can I do something for you?”
“Ahh, give me a hug,” Douglas responded, according to a CBS transcript.