In 1987, Michael Douglas starred as Wall Street mogul Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street. The Gekko character, whose motto was “Greed is Good”, earned Douglas an Oscar for Best Actor. Now, Douglas reprises his Gekko role in the sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, in theaters September 24, 2010. The new film, again directed by Oliver Stone, stars Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, and Frank Langella in addition to Douglas.
In the newest film, Gekko, recently released from prison, is trying to repair his relationship with his daughter Winnie, played by Mulligan. He forms an alliance with Jacob, her trader fiancée played by LaBeouf. The big question is whether Winnie and Jacob can trust Gekko who had previously proven to be a notorious villain.
The premier for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was Monday September 20. Michael Douglas was there to promote his new film despite his recent diagnosis of stage 4 throat cancer. When asked how he felt, Douglas winked, nodded, and mouthed the word “good”.
Douglas, who will be 66 on September 25, was diagnosed with throat cancer in late August. Symptoms appeared before that, and in early summer, Douglas saw numerous doctors and was put through a battery of tests when he complained of throat and ear pain. At the time, doctors found nothing, but later did a biopsy, which revealed a stage 4 tumor at the base of his tongue. Both Douglas and his wife of ten years, Catherine Zeta-Jones, were frustrated with doctors who did not detect the disease sooner.
The cancer was likely caused by Douglas’ years of drinking and smoking. This combination irritates the lining of the throat leading to DNA mutations that result in cancer.
Douglas will undergo eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy and is expected to make a full recovery. Treatments, which have already started, will continue five days a week every three weeks. Temporary side effects from the radiation and chemotherapy could include nausea, fatigue, change in taste, dryness of the throat and mouth, and pain when swallowing.
It is possible the cancer or treatment could affect Douglas’ voice. Patients’ throats can be irritated from radiation treatments, and if surgery is needed to remove the tumor, it may be necessary to remove the voice box.
According to Dr. Lawrence Tena, a radiation and oncology physician at Beth Israel Comprehensive Cancer Center in New York City, most throat cancers are localized, meaning they do not spread below the clavicle. Because of this, 60-70 percent of patients survive, even when the cancer is in advanced stages.