As Michael Douglas appeared last night on "The Late Show with David Letterman," he revealed that he has advanced, Stage 4 cancer.
Michael Douglas is in a tough battle right now. The actor undergoes radiation and chemotherapy to treat a tumor at the base of his tongue.
However, giving up is the least thing in the 65-year-old Oscar-winning actor's mind.
"It's a fight," Douglas told People. "It really knocks you out."
"You've never looked better to me, and this proves that you're a tough guy, for God's sakes," the talk-show host said, drawing cheers from the studio audience.
"Let's just say ... I'm pretty lit up right now," Douglas replied.
The actor also tackled about his chances for recovery.
"I am head and neck," Douglas said. "I am above the neck, so nothing's gone down, and the expectations are good..."
Experts do agree with Douglas's upbeat assessment.
According to Dr. Robert Haddad, an oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, who is not involved in Douglas's care, this kind of cancer generally responds well to the grueling combination of radiation and chemotherapy.
Douglas discovered he had throat cancer in early August after experiencing throat and ear pain.
During his treatment, Douglas may have to be fed through a tube, since swallowing will be difficult, says Haddad. Many patients develop severe mouth sores and need strong pain medications - even narcotics, like morphine - to get through it. The side effects of radiation can last for months after treatment.
Meanwhile, Douglas's wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, 40, told People that "if there's anything Michael has, it's strength."