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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Update about Michael Douglas' condition

Mike Douglas was diagnosed with cancer in August 2010. After months of radiation and chemotherapy for late-stage throat cancer, actor Michael Douglas announced today that he is tumor-free. To hear Mike Douglas describe his condition watch the interview on the NBC Today Show.  No trace of the stage 4, walnut-size tumor at the base of his tongue could be detected on medical imaging, according to Douglas which is a sign complete response to treatment. He discussed the radiation side effects that he suffered which including losing 32 pounds and reduction of saliva production.

However, even in the absence of detectable disease, there is at risk for recurrence and prognosis depends significantly on the biology of the tumor. The risk of recurrence is the highest in the first 2 years after diagnosis and treatment. Regular follow up examinations that includes CT and PET scans are very important in ensuring early detection of cancer recurrence.

Tongue-base cancers that are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection have generally excellent cure rates with a five-year survival ranging 70-80%. It is, however, It is unclear whether Douglas' cancer was positive for HPV.