Michael Douglas Risks Losing Voice from Throat Cancer

Michael Douglas Risks Losing Voice from Throat Cancer

His voice is immediately recognizable.  Now there's growing concern that the throat cancer Michael Douglas is battling could affect the voice the world knows so well.

Douglas beamed as his wife Catherine Zeta Jones won a Tony award in June, and his voice sounded as vibrant as ever.

But Regis Philbin says friends had already noticed something.

"For months now people have noticed a husky sound in his voice, but they say he's expected to make a full recovery and we're happy for that," said Regis.

Douglas now faces eight weeks of intense radiation and chemotherapy.  INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent spoke to cancer specialist Dr. Daniel Fass and asked how this might affect Douglas's voice.

Dr. Fass said, "That would really depend on exactly where in his head or neck area its located, but we do our best to avoid treating the vocal cords which may lead to hoarseness if they are in the radiation field."

The careers of other stars afflicted with throat cancer have been altered because of the disease.  Jack Klugman, star of TV's Odd Couple had one of his vocal cords surgically removed in 1989.

Singer Mary Wells lost her voice to throat cancer and died in 1992.  She only spoke in a whisper through an interpreter.

At the New York premiere of Nanny McPhee Returns, actress Emma Thompson said, "We just want him to get better as quickly as possible."