Michael Douglas feels stronger every day

Veteran Hollywood star Michael Douglas says he feels stronger every day after cancer treatment he described as "hell".

But the 66-year-old actor, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in August 2010, must wait for a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan in January 2011 to see whether the walnut-sized tumour has been successfully eradicated.

"I'm five weeks out after treatment and starting to get my energy back. They warn you that even when you stop, the next few weeks you're still getting knocked out by the radiation, so it's a slow recovery," the two-time Oscar winner said.

"I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy," he added. "It's a haul. But I'm feeling hopeful and just trying to get my energy back. That's the biggest problem."

Douglas only revealed his diagnosis when he returned to the United States from a family holiday. In September, he said he was in stage-four cancer but with an 80% chance of beating it.

Douglas's wife, Welsh-born actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, voiced anger at the time that doctors had not diagnosed the cancer sooner, thus reducing his chances of beating the disease.

Gruelling treatment experience

Douglas admitted the eight-week course of chemotherapy and radio therapy treatment had been gruelling.

"The first four weeks after treatment were hell. That was the worst part," said the actor, who lost 9 kg and battled fatigue.

But now, he said: "I feel stronger every day. But it's a long way back," adding that he and his wife "are very happy and thankful with the way things are going."

The veteran actor, son of Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas, said that he felt "well" but added: "I really won't know the results until January, when I'll get my first PET scan. That will tell me if I'm completely rid of it or not.

"It looks highly unlikely that I'll have to have surgery," he added.

Douglas is already preparing for his next movie, the title role of a biopic of flamboyant entertainer Liberace, and hopes to promote his latest films "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" and "Solitary Man" for the Academy Awards in February 2010.

But he had some scathing comments on the state of the movie industry.

"The business has gotten nasty... it's tough. Before, you always felt there was a little balance between art and commerce, it kind of kept things going. Now it's strictly commerce. It's all commerce."

(Sapa, December 2010)

Read more:
Douglas ends cancer treatment

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