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Michael Douglas Explains Cancer Lie; Talks About Marital Status

Paul Drinkwater/NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- Michael Douglas again acknowledged during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Monday that he had lied about the kind of cancer he had.  He also took the opportunity to provide an update on the status of his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones, and said he was “very hopeful” that things would work out.

Earlier this month, Douglas admitted during a British TV appearance that he publicly lied about the kind of cancer he had.  The actor said he had throat cancer when in fact he had a tumor on his tongue.

Douglas told Leno Monday his doctor told him, “‘You know what, Let's call this throat cancer.’”

As for why he lied, the actor explained to Leno that surgery is necessary if radiation and chemo doesn’t work and when it comes to “surgery with a tumor in the tongue, it doesn't look too good.”

During his British TV appearance, Douglas said he had learned that surgery for a tumor on the tongue involved losing part of your jaw and your tongue so he went along with the deception.

Douglas told Leno he is healthy now and things are looking good.

Last spring, Douglas was quoted as saying oral sex was the cause of his cancer battle.  His rep later denied the quote was accurate.

As for his marriage, Douglas and Zeta-Jones revealed in August that they were separating, but the actor said at last month's Emmy Awards they were hoping to work things out.

Douglas told Leno Monday “sometimes people take a little bit of break, but this doesn't mean that's the end.”  Douglas added that he was "very hopeful” that things would work out.  The couple tied the knot in 2000.

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