Staying Healthy After Cancer
- Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas looked dapper and healthy in a rare appearance for the premiere of the Broadway show “Good Night Oscar” in New York City.
- It’s been 13 years since Douglas beat throat cancer.
- In 2010, Douglas was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma, and his doctor called it throat cancer.
- Treatment for throat cancer may include radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and immunotherapy.
- Maintaining good health is an important part of a cancer warrior’s journey even after cancer treatment ends and this includes eating a balanced diet, exercising, and reducing stress.
Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas made a rare red carpet appearance for a Broadway premiere in New York City with his 22-year-old son, looking dapper and healthy 13 years after beating cancer.
The 78-year-old actor’s film career began in the 1960s and his resume includes feature films from “Fatal Attraction” to “Basic Instinct” to, more recently, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”Read More
#MichaelDouglas with his youngest son Dylan earlier this week, when they attended the opening night of the new Broadway play ‘Good Night, Oscar’. 🤗 pic.twitter.com/t1tes1urwV— Smooth Radio (@SmoothRadio) April 26, 2023
Nowadays, Douglas is rarely captured in high-profile photo-ops, so the rare sight of him before the cameras was a treat to behold featuring the throat cancer survivor.
Michael Douglas’ Cancer Journey
In 2010, Douglas was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma oral cancer. Oral cancer refers to those of the mouth and the back of the throat, according to the National Institute of Health.
Douglas began experiencing a persistent sore throat, prompting him to see his doctor, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.
Tests later revealed the all-star actor had a “tumor on the base of his tongue.”
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“The surgeon said, ‘Let’s just say it’s throat cancer,’ Douglas shared with fellow actor Samuel L. Jackson, CNN reported, shortly after going public with his diagnosis.
“The majority of oral cancers arise in the squamous cells, which line the mouth, tongue, gums, and lips,” MD Anderson Cancer Center says.
Mouth cancers form when cells on the lips or in the mouth develop changes or mutate in their DNA although medical experts don’t know exactly what causes the mutations, according to the American Cancer Society.
Douglas underwent rounds of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, according to the HPV Alliance. A CNN report said the treatments lasted for “five months.”
After undergoing treatment, Douglas was declared cancer free, according to the HPV Alliance.
The American Cancer Society estimates about 54,540 new cases of oral cavity cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year.
Understanding Throat Cancer
Throat cancer, like what Michael Douglas had, is cancer that develops in your throat or voice box. There are different types of throat cancer, according to Mayo Clinic, and they include:
- Nasopharyngeal cancer, which begins in the part of your throat behind your nose
- Oropharyngeal cancer, which begins in the part of the throat behind your mouth
- Hypopharyngeal cancer, also called laryngopharyngeal cancer, which begins in the lower part of your throat
- Glottic cancer, which begins in the vocal cords
- Supraglottic cancer, which begins in the upper part of the voice box
- Subglottic cancer, which begins in the lower part of the voice box
The two most common throat cancer types are laryngopharyngeal cancer and oropharyngeal cancer, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Mayo Clinic says risk factors that can increase your risk of throat cancer include:
- Tobacco use
- Excessive alcohol use
- Viral infections, including human papillomavirus (HPV)
- A diet lacking in fruits and vegetables
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when your stomach acid flows back into your esophagus.
- Exposure to toxic substances
Throat cancer symptoms depend on where the cancer develops in the throat, according to MD Anderson Cancer Center. But signs include:
- Hoarseness or changes in your voice
- Difficulty swallowing
- Persistent sore throat, like what Michael Douglas experienced
- Ear pain
- Lump in the neck
- Breathing problems
- Unexplained weight loss
Treatment for throat cancer may include radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and immunotherapy.
More on Oral Cancer
- Mom, 43, Thought She Just ‘Bit Her Tongue,’ But It Was Cancer: How Oral Cancer Can Seem Like Mouth Sores
- More Men Are Mysteriously Getting Cancer In Their Mouth– The Little Bump That Turned Out To Be Oral Cancer
- Having Oral Sex With Multiple Partners Can Increase Risk for Throat Cancer, Says New Study
- ‘Meet the Parents’ Actress & Mom to Gwyneth Paltrow, Blythe Danner, 79, Reveals She Battled Oral Cancer for Years – The Same Cancer Her Late Husband Fought
WATCH: What does life look like after battling cancer?
Caring for Your Body After Cancer
Since beating cancer, Douglas has continued to enjoy life surrounded by family and friends. It’s clear that life after cancer treatment has been going well for the famous actor, and one thing he’s done is maintain good health.
This is important for all cancer survivors, says the Mayo Clinic. Some tips for improving your quality of life while transitioning to survivorship include:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce stress
- Stop using tobacco
- Limit alcohol consumption
Our experts agree.
“Diet, exercise, and stress control are extremely important when going through cancer therapy, as well as once you’re done treating your cancer and trying to get back to the rest of your life,” says Dr. Sairah Ahmed, associate professor in the division of cancer medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
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