Michael Douglas says cancer is stage IV

The actor tells David Letterman that he has stage IV throat cancer -- but that it hasn't spread

Published September 1, 2010 1:36PM (EDT)

Michael Douglas is vowing to beat cancer.

The 65-year-old "Wall Street" star said in an interview with People magazine that he expects to make a full recovery after a walnut-sized tumor was found on the base of his tongue in early August. Douglas is currently undergoing an eight-week course of radiation and chemotherapy in New York. His doctors said there is no evidence that the cancer has spread.

"I'm treating this as a curable disease," he said. "It's a fight. I'll beat this."

Douglas' wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, said the most difficult part of the ordeal has been seeing her husband fatigued "because Michael is never tired." Zeta-Jones, who has two children -- Dylan, 10, and Carys, 7 -- with Douglas, said she was furious doctors didn't detect the tumor earlier. Douglas said he spent months seeking a cause for throat and ear pain.

"Without having to blame anybody ... these things sometimes just don't show up," he said.

Appearing on David Letterman's "Late Show" on Tuesday night, Douglas revealed that his cancer is in stage IV -- the most serious stage --but then said that "he big thing you're always worried about is it spreading, so I am head and neck. I am above the neck, so nothing's gone down, and the expectations are good."

Besides his medical battle, Douglas is also facing a legal showdown. Lawyers representing the actor and his ex-wife Diandra Douglas are tangling over her claim that she's entitled to half his earnings from "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," the "Wall Street" sequel set to open Sept. 24. Douglas said the lawsuit "kind of came out of left field."


By Associated Press

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