Why would Douglas lie about throat cancer and why wouldn’t he just say he had cancer of the tongue? The reason had to do with show business. He was getting ready to go out on tour promoting “Wall Street 2” so to cancel this he had to have something significantly wrong with him.
Another reason is because the outcome of surgery for tongue cancer could leave him missing part of his face. This wasn't something he was willing to share with the public at the time in case surgery was something he needed down the line.
He consulted his doctor about this and his doctor was the one to suggest announcing he had throat cancer instead of saying cancer of the tongue, said Douglas. The doctor said if Douglas had to have surgery for his tongue cancer he would could lose part of his tongue and part of his jaw.
The doctor thought that in this business he might not want to reveal that he had tongue cancer because the outcome of surgery, if he needed it, would leave him missing part of his face.
This wasn’t “going to be pretty.” That’s when Douglas said “OK, sure,” and the lie was born. Douglas wasn't ready for the public's reaction to his real diagnosis of tongue cancer back then. Just a click of a mouse would offer anyone the horrific avenue that tongue cancer can take you down. Throat cancer didn't have the outcome of leaving him with part of his face gone if he needed surgery.
Douglas made this reveal on a British daytime show on Thursday.