According to top oncologist Dr. Brad Thompson, the fact that Michael smoked until 2006 is most likely why he was struck with throat cancer — and he was very lucky that doctors caught it early.
After Michael Douglas, 65, announced he was diagnosed with throat cancer Aug. 16, HollywoodLife.com spoke with a top Canada-based oncologist to get more information on Michael’s prognosis and treatment.
Dr. Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics Biotech Inc., reveals that throat cancer is surprisingly very curable.
“It seems Michael’s doctors have caught his throat cancer fairly early,” says Dr. Thompson. “In the majority of cases when they discover the cancer this early, it is very curable. Usually in the majority of patients who catch it early, about 60 to 70 percent are effectively cured.”
Michael and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, 40, kicked their half-pack-a-day habit back in 2006. But according to Dr. Thompson, smoking cigarettes definitely contributed to Michael’s throat cancer. Michael released a statement to People that he’s very “optimistic,” but would not release what type of throat cancer it is.
“The two biggest causes of throat cancer are smoking and charcoal,” says Dr. Thompson. “There are a half a dozen types of throat cancer with subtle differences, but it’s unclear as to what kind he has.”
The actor, who stars in the upcoming film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, is beginning treatment for the recent diagnosis. People reported that the Oscar-winning actor would be starting eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy.
“When I first heard that he would be undergoing radiation and chemotherapy, that generally means it was caught early and he should successfully recover,” says Dr. Thompson. “Since they are just doing chemotherapy and radiation, rather than chemo, radiation and surgery, that tells me it’s not as bad as it could be.”
We hope the Hollywood icon recovers quickly and is back to making movies soon!