Michael Douglas admitted in a recent interview with actor Samuel L. Jackson that he actually had stage four tongue cancer, not stage four throat cancer, which is what he initially told media outlets in August 2010.
The 69-year-old spoke to Jackson on the U.K. talk show "This Morning" as part of a weekly series for the show's Male Cancer Awareness Week. Their segment aired on Thursday, Oct. 10, and Douglas explained that his doctor actually suggested he tell the press he had throat cancer.
"You can't go cancel a worldwide European junket tour thing [for 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps'] and say, I don't feel well," Douglas said after telling the story of his diagnosis. "This day, you gotta tell them, so I said, 'We just gotta come out and just tell them.'"
"He [the doctor] said, 'Let's just say it's throat cancer. I said, 'OK. We don't want to say it's tongue cancer?' I said, 'Whys that?' He said, 'Well, if you really want to know why's that, if we have to do surgery, it's not going to be pretty. You know, you lose part of your jaw and your tongue and you know and all of that stuff,'" Douglas explained.
In January 2011, Douglas announced he beat the cancer after finishing his last of his two-month-long radiation and chemotherapy sessions in October 2010. The actor revealed during his interview with Jackson that he still goes in for check-ups and recently received a clean bill of health.
"They start out every three months and then after that, you go to six months and just before we got here I had my last check up," Douglas said. "I passed two years and I'm clean."
Douglas recently won a 2013 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his role as American vocalist and pianist Liberace in the HBO film "Behind The Candelabra." The win marked his first Emmy win and fifth career nomination.