Five months after revealing he was battling throat cancer and Michael Douglas says he is confident he has beat the illness.
Speaking in his first interview since finishing chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, the veteran actor, 66, said his tumour has now vanished.
‘The odds are, with the tumour gone and what I know about this particular type of cancer, that I’ve got it beat,’ Douglas tells Matt Lauer in an interview on NBC’s Today show, which airs in the U.S. on Tuesday.
Doctors have warned the Wall Street star that he shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss concerns that the cancer could return.
But while he still has to undergo monthly checks, Douglas and wife Catherine Zeta Jones are said to be ‘absolutely delighted’ at the news.
The Oscar-winning actor, who was given just a 50-/50 chance of surviving the stage four cancer when it was first diagnosed four months ago, is already looking forward to making the most of the rest of his life.
‘It’s put a timeline on my life,’ he said.
‘I’m 66 now. You know, I’m fortunate I’ve got a mother who’s 88. She’ll kill me. She may be 87. My father’s 94. So, you know, I feel good about those genes.
‘But it’s definitely a third act,’ he added. ‘And so you’re a little more conscious of your time in how you choose to spend it.’
Douglas had been on tenterhooks waiting to see the results after completing his cancer treatment before Christmas.
He was pictured looking tired and frail in New York when he was in the middle of chemotherapy and friends and fans feared the worst when he revealed the disease had spread beyond the original tumour.
He blamed the illness on a lifetime of drinking and smoking. At one point, his father, screen icon Kirk Douglas, flew from his home in Los Angeles to spend time with his son in New York.
But last month, doctors told him his chances of a full recovery had increased to 80 per cent and he was pictured taking his 42-year-old wife and two young children, Dylan, ten, and seven-year-old Carys on trips to Disney World and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida.
The family also went on holiday to Hawaii to help with the veteran star’s recuperation.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter before hearing the results, Douglas said he was determined to battle through the illness despite the uncertain prognosis.
‘It certainly has put a little perspective on mortality, obviously,’ he said.
‘But as I looked through the stats, I didn’t think of this as life and death, I just saw it as an illness to get over. So I didn’t dig into the bottom of my soul to see what I could see.’
Douglas won the Best Actor Oscar for his turn as rapacious trader Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s 1987 drama Wall Street. His other films include Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct and Falling Down.
In an interview last September, Douglas said he was diagnosed with advanced, stage four cancer, which meant the disease had spread beyond the original tumour.
But he said doctors were optimistic because the cancer hadn’t spread into his body. ‘I am above the neck, so nothing’s gone down, and the expectations are good,’ he told American talk show host David Letterman.
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