Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas tells Matt Lauer, odds are he's got throat cancer 'beat'

Jan. 10, 2011 at 3:13 PM ET

Peter Kramer / NBC /

In his first television interview since undergoing treatment for throat cancer, Michael Douglas tells TODAY's Matt Lauer that his tumor is gone and he's got his cancer beat.

"The odds are, with the tumor gone and what I know about this particular type of cancer, that I've got it beat," Douglas said during an interview that will air Tuesday on TODAY. Douglas said that he still has to undergo monthly checks to be sure the cancer is gone, but he's already quantifying how having the disease has changed him.

"It's put a timeline on my life," Douglas said. "I'm 66 now. You know, I'm fortunate I've got a mother who's 88. She'll kill me. She may be 87. My father's 94. So, you know, I feel good about those genes. But it's definitely a third act. And so you're a little more conscious of your time in how you choose to spend it."

As for how he's spending his time now, Douglas is beginning to get back to a normal life. "I'm eating like a pig ... I lost about 32 pounds. And I've put about 12 back," Douglas said. Now that his chemotherapy and radiation treatments are done, Douglas has few restrictions on his day-to-day activities. He's working out at the gym, though "they want to keep the cardio down because they want me to put some more weight on."

Douglas also says that his experience with cancer has given his life more depth. "You know, maybe it has to do because of everything life threatening. So all of a sudden the affection from my family, from my friends, and from my fans hit me at a much deeper level than I would have ever imagined before. And it gave me a really new appreciation of just how valuable, how precious good friends are and family. And it's not that I disregarded them before but there's a much deeper feeling.  And I've talked to other cancer survivors about this, that -- that happens, that you just really, really appreciate what's important in life."

Catch more of the interview on TODAY Tuesday morning and the complete interview on Sunday's "Dateline NBC."

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