Michael Douglas has made a jaw-dropping revelation about his throat cancer: He didn’t contract it from smoking or drinking — but from oral sex.
The Oscar-winning Hollywood star set tongues wagging after he told The Guardian newspaper that he contracted HPV, or human papillomavirus, through a sex act and it developed into cancer.
“Without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus,” he told the British newspaper in an interview published yesterday.
After Douglas was diagnosed with the life-threatening illness in 2010, he said on “Late Show with David Letterman” that the kind of cancer he had was caused by smoking and drinking.
Actor Michael Douglas said a virus from oral sex, not booze and cigarettes, gave him throat cancer.
In yesterday’s interview, the 68-year-old actor speculated that his son Cameron’s legal woes may have borne some responsibility, too.
“I did worry if the stress caused by my son’s incarceration didn’t help trigger it,” the “Wall Street” actor said of Cameron Douglas, who is serving 10 years in a federal prison for heroin possession and distribution.
“But, yeah, it’s a sexually transmitted disease that causes [the] cancer.”
A cancer-awareness advocate hailed Douglas for his blunt talk.
“I’m really quite proud of Michael saying this,” Brian Hill, executive director of the Oral Cancer Foundation, told The Post yesterday.
“This [oral sex] is not an aberrant sexual behavior. But the willingness to talk about this openly can be difficult.”
Douglas cut a public-service announcement for the Oral Cancer Foundation last year.
The actor didn’t disclose the cause of this throat cancer to foundation officials.
The group’s director said Douglas’ oral-sex admission doesn’t surprise him — because that’s how Hill contracted his own cancer.
“My wife cringes every time I talk about it, because I’m talking about our sex life,” Hill said.
Reps for Douglas and his actress wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, could not be reached for comment.
Yesterday’s Guardian report didn’t address whether Douglas contracted the virus through contact with his 43-year-old spouse.
Douglas has been in the spotlight following the release last month of the HBO movie “Behind the Candelabra,” in which he stars as Liberace alongside Matt Damon.
The actor-producer has said he’s had success battling the ailment and has been cancer-free for more than two years.
Douglas has said several specialists missed his cancer and gave him antibiotics to treat ongoing oral discomfort.
Finally, a friend’s doctor in Montreal whipped out a tongue depressor, took one look inside the actor’s mouth and saw trouble.
“I will always remember the look on his face,” Douglas has said.
“He said, ‘We need a biopsy.’ There was a walnut-size tumor at the base of my tongue that no other doctor had seen.”
* This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.