WHEN Michael Douglas was pictured late last year looking frail soon after he was diagnosed with throat cancer, many people feared the worst. The 66-year-old appeared to have aged dramatically, appearing gaunt and skeletal.
However, as reported in the media over the last week, the Oscar-winning actor has made an extraordinary recovery.
"The odds are, with the tumour gone and what I know about this particular type of cancer, that I've got it beat," he said in an interview.
So how did he do it? A blend of heavy-duty treatment, a healing diet and some lucky genes.
Last August, the actor was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour on the base of his tongue. Although the cancer was in the late stage-four phase of the illness, he was given a very good chance of survival. However, his dramatic recovery has reportedly even surprised medical experts.
As soon as he was diagnosed, Douglas embarked on a "very intense" six-week treatment of combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy in Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of Manhattan's top cancer hospitals.
The treatment itself was gruelling, with Douglas confessing soon after the programme started that "I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy . . . It's hell."
After completing the exhausting treatment, Douglas lost three stone. In an effort to recover the weight, he started on a special diet of so-called "healing foods", including raw fats, chicken and organic liver. With the diet helping to bulk his body weight back up, he began a fitness and recovery programme, walking his children to school and building up his body strength again.
The actor has also attributed his family's "lucky genes" to helping him recover. "I'm fortunate. I've got a mother who's 88. My father's 94. So, you know, I feel good about my genes."
And while he has to have monthly check-ups to ensure that the tumour is completely gone, Douglas' hard work appears to be paying off.