Michael Douglas Reveals He Had Tongue Cancer

Lindsay Ray

CURE, Winter 2013, Volume 12, Issue 4

Michael Douglas reveals he has tongue cancer, John McVie of Fleetwood Mac and Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard receive cancer diagnoses and Breaking Bad superfan recognized.

In 2010, actor Michael Douglas underwent treatment for what he claimed was throat cancer. But he now says he actually had tongue cancer. His surgeon suggested he announce he had throat cancer so that he wouldn’t have to discuss possible facial disfigurement while on a press tour, given that if he needed surgery, it could have been extensive. In an interview with fellow actor Samuel L. Jackson for U.K. talk show The Morning, Douglas said, “You can’t cancel a worldwide European tour/junket thing and say, ‘I don’t feel well.’” People would want to know why, he added. He also talked about discussing his diagnosis and subsequent headlines with his children, as well as offering advice to men about being aware of changes in their bodies.

One of the founding band members of Fleetwood Mac, bassist John McVie, received a cancer diagnosis, although the type has not been disclosed. As a result, the band canceled the Australian leg of its tour.

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell received a diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma. He continued with the band’s summer tour during his treatment, which consisted of six months of chemotherapy. His disease is now in remission.

While the critically acclaimed television series Breaking Bad grabbed headlines about the violent journey converting a cancer-stricken teacher into a methamphetamine drug lord, a different cancer patient took the spotlight behind the scenes. Teenager and “superfan” Kevin Cordasco, who had neuroblastoma, met many of the cast and crew, including the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, during the course of his treatment. It was during a conversation with Gilligan that Cordasco suggested something he would like to see in the show, and Gilligan later shared the idea with the writers, directly influencing the last eight episodes. Although Cordasco died before the series concluded, one of the final episodes was dedicated to “Our Friend Kevin Cordasco.”