January 11, 2011
Michael Douglas says that the tumor has been removed and he is likely to beat throat cancer.
"The odds are, with the tumor gone and what I know about this particular type of cancer, that I've got it beat," Douglas, 66, said in interview with NBC.
Throat cancer can be especially hard on the body because there is a chance to lose the voice and even the ability to eat, but luckily Douglas' prognosis has been positive throughout his treatment.
The Oscar-winning actor can fortunately still eat and talk although he has lost 32 pounds during the treatment process, reports ABC
As TSC reported in SeptemberDouglas publicly announced on David Letterman's "Late Show"
his battle with stage four throat cancer and told viewers that doctors said that Douglas had an 80 percent survival rate.
"He is being treated at Manhattan's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center," the actor's press representative Allen Burry told ABCNews.com. "The tumor is at the base of his tongue and his doctor's prognosis is for a full recovery."
Survival rates for smoking and drinking-related throat cancers, which the actor believes was the cause of his diagnosis, are usually around 50 percent to 60 percent, so Douglas had an optimistic prognosis from the start.
Treatment is "manageable," Dr Kevin Cullen, director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center and a medical oncologist who specializes in head and neck cancer. "People get a sore throat and difficulty swallowing and they can also have irritation of the skin and throat from the radiation. But those things get better rapidly after treatment. Over a few months, he would hope to be eating normal food and after six months or more, we usually see someone who looks like they never had an illness."
Three months after treatment, the patient is reevaluated because there is a small risk of getting a second primary cancer "down the road," he said.Facts About Throat Cancer
According to ABC, throat cancer forms in the tissues of the pharynx, the hollow tube inside the neck that starts behind the nose and ends at the top of the windpipe and esophagus. It can include cancer of the nasopharynx (the upper part of the throat behind the nose), the oropharynx (the middle part of the pharynx), and the hypopharynx (the bottom part of the pharynx). Cancer of the larynx (voice box) may also be included as a type of throat cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there were 12,720 new cases of laryngeal and 12,660 of pharyngeal in 2010. The estimated annual deaths are 3,600 and 2,410, respectively.
Risk factors for throat cancer include tobacco and alcohol use: 85 percent of all head and neck cancers are related to smoking and that risk increases with alcohol use.Related Survivors Club StoriesDenver Nuggets' George Karl Gears Up to Fight Neck and Throat CancerThroat Cancer Survivor David Briles Encourages Others to Stop Tobacco UseWhat Are the Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer?