Subscribe
In the News

Michael Douglas' Cancer Caused by an STD That Can Easily Be Prevented

Peter Z. Scheer
Managing Editor
Peter Scheer grew up in the newspaper business, spending family vacations with his mother at newspaper editors' conferences, enjoying daycare in editorial departments and begrudgingly reviewing his father's…
Peter Z. Scheer

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.

In this article:

Now you can personalize your Truthdig experience. To bookmark your favorite articles, please create a user profile.

Personalize your Truthdig experience. Choose authors to follow, bookmark your favorite articles and more.
Your Truthdig, your way. Access your favorite authors, articles and more.
or
or

A password will be e-mailed to you.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles and comments are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.