Michael Douglas was very candid about his stage-four throat cancer battle in 2010. But it turns out, he wasn't telling the truth about his diagnosis.
"[The doctor] just took a tongue depressor and, I will never forget it, I saw this look in his eye," the Oscar winner told Samuel L. Jackson on the U.K. talk show This Morning on Thursday, Oct. 10. "And I went, 'Oh.' And they took a biopsy, and two days later, they said, 'You have cancer," Douglas recalled.
The Behind the Candelabra star received the difficult diagnosis before he was leaving for Europe to promote his starring role in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
"There's no way we can cancel the tour and say we don't feel well," Douglas admitted. "I said, 'You've just got to come out and just tell them I've got cancer and that's it.'"
Douglas' doctor found a walnut-sized tumor at the base of tongue, and warned the actor to not disclose the type of cancer he was battling.
"He said, 'Let's just say it's throat cancer,'" Douglas revealed to Jackson. "'We don't want to say it's tongue cancer,'" Douglas' doctor told him.
The reason why? The doctor warned Douglas that he might lose part of his jaw and tongue and told the father of three "if we do have to do surgery, it's not going to be pretty."
Faced with the fear that he might never work again, he obeyed his doctor's orders. He did not lose his tongue, but his physical appearance changed significantly.
"I lost a lot of weight," he shared.
And even though he wasn't honest about his diagnosis, Douglas recently celebrated two years of being cancer-free.
"With my type of cancer, if you're clean after two years, there's a 95 percent chance it's not coming back," he tells Jackson.