Actor Michael Douglas sat down with the UK’s The Guardian news outlet to talk about his upcoming HBO film “Behind the Candelabra” when he was quoted as saying that he did not regret smoking and drinking for years ahead of his diagnosis. “No,” he said. “No. Because, without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”
Now The Associated Press is reporting that his rep saying the comments were taken out of context.
Allen Burry, Douglas’ spokesperson, says the actor never said during the interview that HPV caused his type of cancer, just that it can cause other types of throat cancers. Smoking and drinking are thought to be the major causes of throat cancer.
NBCnews.com report says new research shows that a rising number of head, neck and anal cancers have been tied to HPV, a sexually transmitted virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 63 percent of the estimated 11,726 cases of oropharyngeal cancers diagnosed each year in the United States are thought to be caused by HPV. About 3,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with HPV-associated anal cancer and the rate of infection appears to be increasing.