Outlets have some quotes from Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas’ cover story interview in People this week. A lot of them are focusing on how angry Catherine Zeta Jones says she is that it took so long for doctors to diagnose her husband’s throat cancer, which is now at stage 4. A “walnut-sized” tumor was found under his tongue and he’s gone through a week of chemotherapy and radiation so far to treat it. Douglas said on Letterman that his cancer has not spread beyond his head and neck, and that his prognosis is at least 80% or better. He admitted that it took weeks and many doctors to find out the problem and that “I actually went through a litany of doctors and tests and they didn’t find anything.” Zeta Jones says in People that she’s “furious they didn’t detect it earlier”
Catherine Zeta-Jones has revealed her anger at doctors who failed to spot her husband’s cancer.
She said Michael Douglas had complained repeatedly about ear and throat pain but it was not until three weeks ago that a walnut-size tumour was discovered under his tongue.
‘It makes me furious they didn’t detect it earlier,’ Miss Zeta-Jones said. ‘He sought every option and nothing was found.’
The actress, who has been married to 65-year-old Douglas for ten years, admitted she wasn’t that surprised when throat cancer was finally diagnosed.
‘It wasn’t a huge shock,’ she said in a magazine interview. ‘I knew something was up. He knew something was up.’
While his wife was furious about the late diagnosis, Douglas was more understanding.
‘These things sometimes just don’t show up,’ he said.
He said his family were at their home on Bermuda while he has treatment in New York. He said Miss Zeta-Jones, 40, had been ‘so supportive’ since the diagnosis.
She said in her interview with People magazine that her husband had broken the news of his illness to their children Dylan, ten, and Carys, seven.
She also revealed she was struggling emotionally with seeing him lose his strength as a result of the treatment. ‘I know maybe I should be stronger, but…the hardest part is seeing his fatigue, because Michael is never tired.’
[From The Daily Mail]
This just goes to show that even rich and famous people, presumably with access to the best doctors in the world, have trouble getting a diagnosis. From what I understand there’s no way to detect cancer other than looking at the symptoms, checking blood markers and doing an MRI, x-ray or biopsy where it’s suspected. If the guy has a “walnut-sized” tumor under his tongue, was it obvious and why didn’t anyone just look in his damn mouth? This is sadly common even when people have the best insurance. Medicine is not an exact science and requires a lot of knowledge and motivation on the doctor’s part. There are bad doctors out there, just as there are good doctors using all means at their disposal to do what’s best for their patients. Sometimes it’s too late before you find a good one.
I hope that Douglas is going to be ok, and that the treatment works for him. He seems to be hanging in there and he has so many people rooting for him. We’ll never know if his cancer could have been caught earlier if one of the doctors he saw just asked the right questions or followed up properly. That’s got to make his loved ones livid.