Health

Val Kilmer Admits Cancer Diagnosis

| by Michael Howard

Actor Val Kilmer has confirmed rumors that he has cancer.

The admission came during a Reddit AMA on April 27. It was the first time the "Batman" star acknowledged his illness publicly, having repeatedly denied reports that he was battling throat cancer.

"A while ago, Michael Douglas claimed you had terminal cancer," a Reddit user wrote to Kilmer. "What was the story behind that?"

"He was probably trying to help me [because the] press probably asked where I was these days, and I did have a healing of cancer, but my tongue is still swollen although healing all the time," Kilmer replied. "Because I don't sound my normal self yet people think I may still be under the weather."

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Douglas made the statement in October 2016, during a Q&A session in London with talk show host Jonathan Ross, according to Variety. He was discussing "The Ghost and the Darkness," a 1996 film that starred both Douglas and Kilmer.

"The picture didn’t turn out as well as I hoped but I had a wonderful time," Douglas said. "Val was a wonderful guy who is dealing with exactly what I had, and things don’t look too good for him."

"My prayers are with him," he added. "That’s why you haven’t heard too much from Val lately."

Douglas was diagnosed with stage 4 oral cancer in 2010. His treatment was successful, and by 2011 he was cancer-free.

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Several days after Douglas' comments, Kilmer took to Facebook to say that his former co-star was "misinformed" about his health.

"I love Michael Douglas but he is misinformed," Kilmer wrote, adding that he last spoke to Douglas "almost two years ago when I asked him for a referral for a specialist to get a diagnosis for a lump in my throat."

He went on to state that he had "no cancer whatsoever."

Kilmer, who has been a Christian Scientist for years, also addressed speculation that he was refusing medical treatment due to his religious beliefs.

"Some fans have mistakenly thought my silence about my personal issues meant that somehow I wasn’t being responsible to my health," he wrote. "Nothing could be further from the truth. Although I am very grateful for all the support from around the world, when people found out I had a physical challenge. I hope this puts to rest any further concerns about my health."

Rumors of Kilmer's health issues first began to circulate in 2015 after it was reported that he had begun bleeding from the throat. Months later, reports indicated that tests done at the UCLA Medical Center had revealed a tumor.

"There’s a rumor I’m unwell again and in hospital which is totally untrue," he wrote on Facebook at the time. "I was in to verify I have no tumor or infection of any kind which was verified by the very caring experts at UCLA."

Sources: Reddit, Variety (2) / Photo credit: John Griffiths via Wikimedia Commons

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