Michael Douglas denies blaming oral sex for his cancer
A spokesman for Michael Douglas denied Monday that the Hollywood veteran actor had blamed his throat cancer on oral sex, in a British newspaper interview.
The spokesman said the 68-year-old “Fatal Attraction” star had discussed the link between oral cancers and oral sex, among other risk factors, but was not referring to his own specific case.
“Michael did not say cunnilingus was the cause of his cancer,” spokesman Allen Burry told AFP, referring to the star’s interview with British daily the Guardian.
“He certainly discussed oral sex in the article, and oral sex is a suspected cause of certain oral cancers, as the doctors in the article did point out. But he did not say this was the specific cause of his personal cancer.”
In the newspaper interview Douglas, who stars in the just-released biopic of flamboyant entertainer Liberace, “Behind The Candelabra,” said his cancer was caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
“Without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus,” he was quoted as saying.
“I did worry if the stress caused by my son’s incarceration didn’t help trigger it. But yeah, it’s a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer,” he added, referring to his son Cameron’s jailing for drug offenses.
But Douglas’s spokesman said the actor was talking in general, not personal terms. “This is not the cause of his cancer,” he said.
“Is this a cause of oral cancers? Yes, along with drinking, along with smoking, along with stress, along with pollution. All of those things cause oral cancer.
“Did he specifically say this was the cause of his cancer? No,” he added.
A spokesman for Guardian News & Media said: “To the best of our knowledge we have received no complaints about the articles in question from Michael Douglas or his representatives.
“We would of course investigate any complaints about our journalism that we received.”
Burry said he had not sought a correction from the British newspaper. “I’m not asking the Guardian to do anything, I think they did enough already,” he said.
The two-time Oscar winner revealed in 2010 that he was battling with stage-four cancer, but beat the disease thanks to a grueling regime of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“I have to check in regularly — now it’s every six months — but I’m more than two years clear,” he told the Guardian. “And with this kind of cancer, 95 percent of the time it doesn’t come back.”
Research studies from Malmo University’s Faculty of Odontology and in The New England Journal of Medicine both suggest a correlation between oral sex and throat cancer.
HPV infection is also the cause of 99 percent of cases of cervical cancer, according to studies cited by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).
Douglas’ wife, Oscar-winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, in April received further treatment for bipolar disorder.
The Welsh actress, 43, won an Academy Award in 2003 for her supporting role in “Chicago” and has appeared in films such as “Traffic” and “Ocean’s Twelve.”