Hollywood Star, Michael Douglas Blame Throat Cancer on Oral Sex
Famous Hollywood actor and producer, Michael Douglas announced in 2010 that he was diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer, which is the most advanced stage of the cancer. Although excessive smoking and drinking are the two more commonly known causes of throat cancer, Douglas, 68, stated in a recent interview that he got throat cancer from oral sex. Douglas, who originally believed that his cancer was due to his smoking and drinking habits, stated that oral sex gave him the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a virus that often leads to cervical cancer or genital warts depending on the strain.
"It's a sexually transmitted disease," Douglas explained reported by the San Francisco Gate.
"This particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes from cunnilingus ," he added, according to Daily Mail.
Although Douglas places the blame on HPV, which is a legitimate cause of throat cancer, some health experts stress to the public that HPV was probably not the only factor. Brady stated that since there are so many different strains of HPV, HPV as a risk factor for throat cancer is extremely low. Medical professionals estimate that HPV could be responsible for around one third of mouth and throat cancers and that contracting HPV would be due to oral sex. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States.
"There are often a number of factors, genetic, environmental, viral, that could be playing a role," Dr. Michael Brady, a medical director from the Terrence Higgins Trust who specializes in sexual health. Brady added that Douglas was a smoker and a drinker, which are two huge risk factors for throat cancer.
Douglas, who is known for his acting roles in "Basic Instinct" and "Wall Street" and as an Academy Award producer for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," has been cancer free for over two years. He is married to Welsh actress, Catherine Zeta Jones.