The movie star rejected embarrassment to say this week that his throat cancer was caused by HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that only 1 percent of boys are vaccinated against.
Douglas announced his cancer on David Letterman’s show in 2010 at a time when he was severely ill (stage IV) and possibly near death. This week he told The Guardian that his cancer is gone and unlikely to return. He also revealed that his cancer was caused, ultimately, by sex:
“[W]ithout wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”
From what? For a moment I think that I may have misheard.
“From cunnilingus. I mean, I did worry if the stress caused by my son’s incarceration didn’t help trigger it. But yeah, it’s a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer.” He shrugs. “And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it.”
Bloomberg editorializes that “Michael Douglas may have done more for awareness about human papillomavirus than all the education programs health advocates have ever sponsored.”
There are vaccines available to prevent the spread of the cancer-causing virus, however adoption has been slow. According to Bloomberg: “The trouble is, just 35 percent of U.S. teenage girls get all three doses, data from 2011 suggest, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended the vaccinations since 2006. The figure was just 1 percent for boys; the vaccines were available but not recommended for them until 2012.”
—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.
Michael Douglas plays Liberace in HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra.”