Huffpost Celebrity

Michael Douglas Admits He Had Tongue Cancer, Not Throat Cancer

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Michael Douglas is coming clean.

In an interview with Samuel L. Jackson on the U.K. talk show "This Morning," the 69-year-old admitted that the type of cancer he battled in 2010 was not stage four throat cancer -- he was actually diagnosed with tongue cancer.

"We kind of said, 'There’s no way we can cancel a worldwide European tour, junket thing and say we don’t feel well,'" he explained of being diagnosed while promoting his movie "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps." "So you know, I said, 'You've just got to come out and just tell them I've got cancer and that’s that.'"

Douglas revealed his diagnosis in August 2010, but decided to keep his tongue cancer a secret after his doctor, who'd found a walnut-size tumor at the base of his tongue, revealed the surgery could impact his appearance in a major way.

"The surgeon said, 'Let's just say it's throat cancer,'" Douglas said, explaining that the doctor told him that if they had to do surgery for tongue cancer "it's not going to be pretty" and that he faced losing part of his jaw and tongue. So Douglas kept his secret, just in case he had to go under the knife.

The actor, who's currently separated from his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, underwent aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment and was declared tumor-free in January 2011.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this article, HuffPost Celebrity quotes Michael Douglas as saying, "This was right before I had to go on a big tour for 'Wall Street,' so we kind of said, 'There’s no way we can cancel the tour and say we don’t feel well." But actually, Douglas never references "Wall Street" in his interview on "This Morning." He tells Samuel L. Jackson, "You can't cancel a worldwide European tour, junket thing and say I don't feel well ... whats the problem?" Still, he was promoting "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" during the time of his diagnosis.

Watch his full interview below:

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