Home > Health, Medical > What Michael Douglas Faces with Throat Cancer

What Michael Douglas Faces with Throat Cancer


Dr. Jennifer Ashton Discusses How Effective Treatment May Be for “Wall Street” Star, Effects of Radiation on the Throat

  • Michael DouglasMichael Douglas (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • Special Section Health Matters with Dr. AshtonCBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton offers information and insight on pressing medical matters.
  • Photo Essay Michael DouglasThe Academy Award-winner has acting in his genes

(CBS)

A spokesperson for Michael Douglas made a stunning announcement — that the 65-year-old actor has a tumor in his throat.

“Early Show” co-anchor Chris Wragge reported Douglas will face a difficult treatment regimen: eight weeks of radiation given five days a week, and chemotherapy, which is usually given every one-to-three weeks.

In a brief statement, Douglas said, “I am very optimistic.”

But CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said on “The Early Show,” throat cancer patients face additional challenges with treatment.

Special Section: Dr. Jennifer Ashton
Video Series: Dr. Ashton’s Health and Wellness
Pictures: Michael Douglas
Pictures: Douglas in Cannes for “Wall Street” Sequel

With throat cancer, Ashton said, “Radiation to the mouth … can be difficult. Usually, (it’s) very effective, about 50 to 80 percent of these types of cancers can be cured. However, radiation does damage cells, it can make swallowing very difficult, it can give you sores in your mouth.”

Ashton said Douglas, like other throat cancer patients, has the possibility of losing his ability to speak.

She added, “The big things that we take into account with the prognosis of a patient: The stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis, the location and size of the tumor, and probably most importantly, the age of the patient and their general state of health and their attitude.”

And while Douglas will receive common treatments for cancer, throat cancer itself, Ashton said, is rather uncommon.

“It tends to affect men about five times as often as it affects women and we’re talking here about cancer that’s located in the larynx or voice box or upper palette or the upper esophagus. And no one likes to hear a diagnosis of cancer. This isn’t one of the top cancers, but it’s definitely seen.”

Ashton explained environmental risk factors, such as smoking, heavy alcohol use, exposure to certain environmental chemicals, can affect your chances of throat cancer.

“Everyone of  the human papillomavirus has been linked to oral cancers,” she said. “So these are things that your lifestyle really can have a huge impact on your risk.”

When it comes to symptoms, Ashton said throat cancer is most often noticed when someone has trouble or difficulty swallowing.

“That’s oftentimes what patients complain about first,” Ashton said. “You can have a lump in the neck that you can actually feel. Even ear pain. And that’s because sometimes this tumor can refer pain to the ear or a persistent cough or persistent bad breath.”

© MMX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

BACK to margotbworldnews.com

Advertisements
Categories: Health, Medical Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: