Michael Douglas says tumor gone, cancer may be beat

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas, who revealed in August that he had throat cancer, said on Monday that his tumor is gone and chances are good he has beaten cancer.

Actor and cast member Michael Douglas arrives for the premiere of the film "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" in New York September 20, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

In an interview with U.S. morning news and talk show “Today,” Douglas told co-host Matt Lauer, “I feel good, relieved.

“The tumor is gone. But, you know, I have to check out on a monthly basis now to maintain. I guess there’s not a total euphoria. I’ll probably take a couple of months of getting checked out. But it’s been a wild six-month ride,” Douglas said in a transcript of the interview released by the NBC network.

A portion of the segment will air on Tuesday, and the full interview will air on “Dateline NBC” on January 23.

Lauer asked Douglas about putting on weight after radiation treatments, and Douglas said he had been “eating like a pig.” He is working out in a gym and even planning for an upcoming film role as famed pianist Liberace, he said.

“I think the odds are, with the tumor gone and what I know about this particular type of cancer, that I’ve got it beat,” Douglas told Lauer.

Douglas, 66, made a surprise announcement in August that doctors had diagnosed him with stage IV throat cancer but he was optimistic he would recover. Given the late stage of the tumor, however, many fans were concerned.

In the months since, Douglas has only sporadically appeared in the media and has been seen most often in paparazzi pictures walking the streets of New York with family members.

On “Today,” Douglas told Lauer he had lost 32 pounds during treatment, but had recently added back 12 pounds. He said he had lost a lot of muscle mass and that radiation treatment caused his salivary ducts to stop functioning for a time.

Douglas is one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, having worked in movies from “The China Syndrome” to “Fatal Attraction,” “The American President” and “Wall Street,” which earned him an Oscar for his role as money manipulator Gordon Gekko.

He also won an Oscar for producing “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and in the 1970’s starred in TV crime show “The Streets of San Francisco.” He is the son of veteran actor Kirk Douglas and is married to Catherine Zeta-Jones, with whom he has two children.