Michael Douglas: Surviving cancer made me grateful

Michael Douglas' cancer diagnosis taught him to be grateful for all the good things in his life.

FILE: Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones attend The Actor's Fund Career Transition For Dancers 2017 Jubilee Gala at Marriott Marquis Hotel on 1 November 2017 in New York City. Picture: AFP

LONDON – Michael Douglas says surviving cancer has made him grateful for all the good things in his life and made him realise what's really important to him.

The Ant-Man and the Wasp star was diagnosed with stage IV tongue cancer in 2010 but after undergoing intensive treatment he was able to beat the potentially fatal disease and since being given the all-clear from the illness he appreciates how blessed he has been in his career and with his family, which includes his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones and their two children Dylan, 19, and Carys, 16.

When asked what he learned from cancer in an interview with Italian publication IO Donna, he said: "Gratitude. Now, I'm happy to still be here and be able to celebrate the passing of time."

Discussing how he was worried he would have to stop making movies when he was first diagnosed, Michael - who also has another son, 40-year-old Cameron, his child with first wife Diandra Luker - added: "At the time I was heartbroken at the idea of giving up everything, but today I have put my priorities back in order."

Michael - whose father is 102-year-old Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas - has also gotten more environmental conscious as he has gotten older and admits he does worry about the future of Earth.

He said: "None of us knows what this precarious world holds for us, and I refer to our planet in general and Hollywood in particular, even though it is now a family business that has been handed down to me and that I passed on to my children."