Since the diagnosis for Stage IV cancers of the breast or lung can be dire, that's not the case for the type of tumor Douglas has. The doctors said his chance of survival is 80 percent with eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. Doctors also maintained that advanced-stage cancer in the base of the tongue, tonsils, soft palate or walls of the throat is curable.
"With oropharyngeal cancer, the majority of patients with Stage IV are going to be cured. They should not have that notion that it's a death sentence," the New York Daily News quoted Dr. William Kuhel, director of head and neck surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell, as saying.