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  #1  
Old 25 June 2014, 07:55 AM
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Icon84 Michael Douglas had tongue cancer, not throat cancer

U.S. actor Michael Douglas said he actually had tongue cancer, not throat cancer, and lied about it upon advice from his doctor.

http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_New...6031381601181/
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Old 25 June 2014, 10:22 AM
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In the grand scheme of things, is that really much of a difference?
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Old 25 June 2014, 11:59 AM
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You mean aside from this:

Quote:
"But the surgeon said, 'Let's just say it's throat cancer.' I said 'OK, you don't want to say it's tongue cancer?' I said 'Why's that?' and he said, 'Well, if you really want to know why, if we do have to have surgery it's not going to be pretty. You'll lose part of you jaw and your tongue and all of that stuff.' So I said, 'OK sure.,'" Douglas added, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
That would make a big difference to me, and I'm not an actor.
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Old 25 June 2014, 02:19 PM
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My grandfather's throat cancer would have resulted in pretty well the same surgery if he decided to go through with it.

That's what I'm talking about. It is like saying we'll either disfigure your tongue, mouth and throat. Or we'll disfigure your throat, mouth and tongue.
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Old 25 June 2014, 03:49 PM
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That would make a big difference to me, and I'm not an actor.
I still don't get why that distinction was important. Yes, it would have made a huge difference if he'd had to undergo the surgery, but why did it make a difference to what he told the public?
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Old 25 June 2014, 03:51 PM
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Because one would generate speculation by the media on how he might have to undergo the more disfiguring surgery?
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Old 25 June 2014, 04:59 PM
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If he was in contention for a role in the planning stage, he might lose it if there was a possibility he might become permanently disfigured part way through the filming schedule.
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Old 25 June 2014, 05:16 PM
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LPP's post is what I was thinking.
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Old 25 June 2014, 05:37 PM
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Because one would generate speculation by the media on how he might have to undergo the more disfiguring surgery?
But even if that might have been true in his particular case, it's not generally true that everyone who undergoes surgery for tongue cancer faces the risk of losing part of their jaw and being disfigured -- there are many different ways of surgically treating tongue cancer depending on the type, location, and size of the cancer. So it doesn't follow that simply admitting "I have tongue cancer" would have been tantamount to declaring "There's a good chance I'll be undergoing facially disfiguring cancer surgery."
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Old 25 June 2014, 05:42 PM
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I admit to being confused as to why he'd say one instead of the other, too. Surely, either cancer, a production company's insurance carrier would require a medical report either way and the truth would be revealed if not to the public, to the production company.
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Old 25 June 2014, 05:50 PM
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If he was in contention for a role in the planning stage, he might lose it if there was a possibility he might become permanently disfigured part way through the filming schedule.
But he'd have to acknowledge his medical condition to the production company (for insurance purposes) prior to filming even if he got the part, so he wouldn't be gaining anything by deceiving the public about it.
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Old 25 June 2014, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
So it doesn't follow that simply admitting "I have tongue cancer" would have been tantamount to declaring "There's a good chance I'll be undergoing facially disfiguring cancer surgery."
In my experience, there are certain types of media outlets who would love nothing better than to speculate on the awful things that could happen in any situation, especially ones that would happen to a celebrity thought of as handsome or beautiful. So while the cancer doesn't follow, some speculation certainly would.
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Old 25 June 2014, 06:33 PM
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Tongue cancer raises the very obvious image of the victim losing his or her tongue in surgery. That's a clear image for people to home in on, and focus on when the victim is an actor.

It may be true that throat cancer could lead to similar surgery, but it doesn't raise the same obvious image. If indeed the surgeries can be similar, one would have to have that knowledge to have it raise the same image. It's not obvious.
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Old 25 June 2014, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
If he was in contention for a role in the planning stage, he might lose it if there was a possibility he might become permanently disfigured part way through the filming schedule.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
LPP's post is what I was thinking.
Gotcha. Crystal clear now.
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  #15  
Old 25 June 2014, 07:20 PM
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Tongue cancer raises the very obvious image of the victim losing his or her tongue in surgery. That's a clear image for people to home in on, and focus on when the victim is an actor.
Plenty of actresses and television personalities reveal they have breast cancer, even though it raises the very obvious image of the victim undergoing a mastectomy.
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Old 25 June 2014, 07:24 PM
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Yes. And that would be a downside of revealing it. I'm not saying MichaelDouglas had no choice but to lie. I'm just pointing out one of the differences between the actual diagnosis and the one he told people. Whether it actually mattered or not, I don't know.
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Old 25 June 2014, 07:46 PM
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If I was a layperson- even as a professional- if I heard throat cancer, I would wonder if he would not be able to talk well, or at all, which I would think would put a damper on most modern acting lead roles.

I guess I understand the motive to not reveal tongue cancer, but I don't get picking throat cancer as the cover. It seems like that is the part that is confusing other posters as well.
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  #18  
Old 25 June 2014, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Plenty of actresses and television personalities reveal they have breast cancer, even though it raises the very obvious image of the victim undergoing a mastectomy.
I'm not sure tongues can be reconstructed the same way breasts might be able to.
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  #19  
Old 25 June 2014, 08:49 PM
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My first guess on seeing the headline is that he wanted to avoid speculation on the origin of the cancer. Oral cancers can be caused by the HPV virus. Throat cancer can be too but I would think just the word "tongue" would open him up to additional jokes.
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Old 25 June 2014, 08:51 PM
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He said it was from HPV.
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