Michael Douglas Discusses Late Cancer Diagnosis in Alec Baldwin's Inaugural NPR Podcast

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Alec Baldwin debuted his new National Public Radio series, Here's the Thing, on Monday. In his introduction, the host explains the WNYC-produced podcast "is about following great conversations to unexpected places."

And that first place it goes is Michael Douglas' home in New York. The two actors sat down for a tête-à-tête that covered his earlier roles, his children not being able to watch most of his films and the dangerous delay in his 2010 cancer diagnoses.

"My throat was a little sore, and I thought maybe it was from tension from the part," Douglas says of his initial discomfort after filming Wall Street 2. "It went on for another couple of a months."

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It was more than a couple. From his first doctor's visit in January 2010 to August of that year, Douglas explains he knew he had a problem for nearly 9 months before any doctor ordered testing for ear nose and throat cancer.

When the discomfort in his throat finally became too much while visiting Montreal, he sought out a specialist.

"He literally opened my mouth, he took a tongue depressor and I'll never forget that moment," Douglas tells Baldwin. "He looked up at me, he looked back down and then I knew."

Douglas' stage 4 cancer required months of radiation and chemotherapy, something Baldwin says had him expecting the worst.

"I want to mention that I came to this door... expecting you to look, I'm going to be very honest with you, not as great as you look now," says Baldwin. "You look pretty damn good. You're making me sick to my stomach."

Douglas credits his healthy appearance with a recent vacation, adding that he's spending a lot more time with his family before filming his next project, HBO Films’ Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra.

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"The one advantage of this is I'm deciding to take the rest of the year easy," he says.

This includes visits from daughter Carys, who joins the final moments of their conversation. The 8-year-old has little to say on his body of work.

Douglas' fondness for mature roles means that she hasn't seen many of his films. In fact, she used to tell her friends he made pancakes for living. But she has seen Romancing the Stone.

"That was my favorite movie of all time," adds Carys. 

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