We have learned much about Michael Douglas' throat cancer since his interview with David Letterman. We now know that the actor is suffering from stage IV throat cancer. His publicist has told media outlets that Douglas has a tumor located at the base of the tongue. This tells us that the actor likely has oropharyngeal cancer, a specific type of throat cancer.
People have been quick to ask about the prognosis of a person with throat cancer. Michael Douglas told Dave Letterman he had an 80 percent survival rate, which is excellent for someone with advanced throat cancer. The fact that his cancer has not spread beyond the head and neck region is highly favorable for a successful treatment outcome. Age and general health are other factors that can influence a person's prognosis.
The actor is undergoing aggressive rounds of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which can effectively treat these types of head and neck cancer cases, but not without side effects, of course. People who undergo treatment for head and neck cancer with chemo and radiation experience a multitude of side effects, such as hair loss, mouth sores, extremely dry skin, dry mouth, and skin rashes. Patients often have to be fed through a tube because swallowing is painful and difficult. Taste changes can be common, as well.
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