Monday, June 03, 2013

Is There Something You're Not Telling Us, Mike?

You may recall the kerfuffle a few weeks ago over Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy to minimize her chances of getting breast cancer.

Not to be outdone, Michael Douglas has, well, made his own revelation, and one ups her:

LONDON - Actor Michael Douglas says that his throat cancer was caused by a virus he contracted by performing oral sex on women , a claim that a doctor called dubious.

The Guardian newspaper published an interview Monday in which Douglas blamed cunnilingus for the grave malady that was diagnosed in 2010.

The 68-year-old Douglas has been free of cancer for more than two years after receiving extensive chemotherapy and has returned to acting.

Before I get into what I think may be going on behind the scenes, kudos to Douglas for raising awareness that men, too, can contract this disease, and while the HPV in itself does not necessarily do harm, the collateral conditions it can raise are pretty terrifying.

Now, it is true that HPV is a sexually-transmitted disease, and that oral sex could conceivably transmit the virus from a woman to a man. However…

Well, first, some bookkeeping: Douglas had been a lifelong smoker and drinker, both of which are probable throat cancers causes far ahead of cunnilingus. Or fellatio. Which brings me to number two.

Gay and bisexual men are 17 times more likely to develop cancer from the HPV virus, particularly if their immune systems were already compromised, as with the HIV virus. Now, it is true that the HPV infection in gay and bisexual men usually presents as an anal cancer, but (no pun intended) any genital wart in any orifice can transmit HPV.

The timing of this announcement, coming on the heels of his star turn in the HBO special Behind the Candelabra, makes this all the more suspicious. This has some of the fingerprints of the work of a publicist.

Not that there’s, you know, anything wrong with that.