Almost two years ago, Michael Douglas was preparing for an eight-week struggle to fight stage four throat cancer. The 67-year-old told David Letterman at the time that the disease was confined to his neck, with doctors optimistic that he had an 80 percent or greater chance of recovery.
In early 2011, Douglas was given the all-clear — with all traces of the walnut-sized tumor gone after intense chemotherapy and radiation. "I think the odds are with the tumor gone and what I know about this particular type of cancer that I've got it beat," the actor told Matt Lauer.
Today it was announced that Douglas will be fronting a new campaign for the Oral Cancer Foundation
to raise awareness of the disease. He will star in a PSA debuting June 12 urging Americans to undergo screenings for oral cancer.
"The Foundation is indebted to Michael Douglas for partnering with us in the battle against oral cancer," said founder Brian Hill. "Michael is a highly visible, well known actor, and a consummate professional. Those qualities, when coupled with his personal cancer experience, yield a respected voice to this fight. His willingness right from the beginning of his journey, to openly talk about his difficult personal experience with oral cancer on TV and in print, has certainly created awareness in the public of a cancer too few have even heard of."
It's estimated that more than 37,000 Americans were diagnosed with oral cancer in 2011, with lifestyle choices such as smoking and alcohol suspected contributing factors.