Michael Douglas could lose his voice after treatment for throat cancer, doctors have warned.
Douglas, 65, announced earlier this week that he had been diagnosed with a tumour in his throat and is to undergo eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy.
The star’s rep said he is expected to make a complete recovery. “I am optimistic,” Douglas said in a brief statement to People.
Doctors have now warned the star that he may end up with badly affected vocal cords – or even lose the ability to speak as he undergoes treatment.
Dr Lawrence Tena, a physician in the department of radiation and oncology at the Beth Israel Comprehensive Cancer Center in New York City, told Fox News: “When a patient is getting radiation and chemotherapy combined, they typically have an advanced stage of cancer.
“Sixty to 70 per cent of patients, even with advanced cancers, survive.”
He added: “Localised means the cancer has not spread below the clavicle. The body has the ability to keep cancers above the clavicle; it is just the nature of the immune system and lymphatic system. If it is local, it is curable.”
But if the treatment doesn’t work, Douglas will have to undergo surgery (a partial or complete laryngectomy), which would leave him with a changed voice, or no voice at all, reports the Daily Mail online.
Douglas has cancelled all engagements for two months, including promoting new film Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.
All the best to you, Douglas.