Actor Michael Douglas says the tumor in his throat is gone, and he’s hopeful that he’s “beaten” cancer.
“The odds are, with the tumor gone and what I know about this particular type of cancer, that I’ve got it beat,” Douglas, 66, told Matt Lauer Tuesday morning on NBC’s “Today” show, Douglas’ first TV interview since undergoing months of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Douglas looked a lot better than he’s looked in recent months, when he appeared thin and sickly in paparazzi photos that alarmed his fans and friends. He said he’s regaining the weight he lost. “I’m eating like a pig,” Douglas said. “I lost about 32 pounds. And I’ve put about 12 back.”
With the tumor “gone,” Douglas is hopeful the cancer is gone too. “I feel good, relieved. … But I have to check [it] out on a monthly basis. 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.
He said the support of family and friends helped him get through the ordeal. Among those who came to New York to spend time with him was his famed father, movie great Kirk Douglas, 94.
The experience of battling life-threatening cancer has left Douglas with a new appreciation for family, he said. “It gave me a really new appreciation of just how valuable, how precious good friends are, and family” he said. “And it’s not that I disregarded them before but there’s a much deeper feeling. And I’ve talked to other cancer survivors about this, that you just really, really appreciate what’s important in life.”
Douglas said he’s looking forward to starting production on his next movie, “Liberace,” in which he’ll play the late popular pianist. “I’m going to get my fingers ready for ‘Liberace’,” he said.
More of Matt Lauer’s interview with Michael Douglas will be seen on NBC’s “Dateline” on Sunday, Jan. 23.