Michael Douglas, who is now in remission from stage four throat cancer that was diagnosed three years ago, says that his life-threatening disease came from giving oral sex, rather than a lifetime of drinking and smoking.
The actor, 68, told UK’s The Guardian that his cancer was the result of contracting the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cancer.
The paper asked Douglas if he regretted his years of boozing and smoking and he said, “No. Because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus.” (Cunnilingus, for those of you who did not pay attention in sex ed, is when a man performs oral sex on a woman.)
He added, “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. And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it.” Douglas’ son Cameron, 35, is currently serving a 10 year prison sentence for heroin possession.
Douglas, who has been married to Catherine Zeta-Jones since 2000, was diagnosed with cancer in August 2010 and underwent chemotherapy and radiation and is now successfully in remission.
HPV is commonly associated with cervical cancer and genital warts, but it is becoming increasingly responsible for throat and mouth cancers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 79 million Americans are currently infected with the disease and that “HPV is so common that nearly all sexually-active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.”
A small percentage of men and women will contract cancer from HPV. Approximately 6,700 men currently have throat cancer caused by HPV.