Michael Douglas initially thought having tongue cancer was a ''death sentence''.

The 72-year-old actor was diagnosed with the disease in 2010 after a walnut-sized tumour was discovered in his throat, and after being told about the treatment he must undertake, he was terrified he wouldn't survive.

He revealed: ''There is a period when they talk about if it does not work.

''In my particular situation, they said they may have to have surgery and you may not have much of a film career after that as they would have to remove part of your jaw.

''It is all going through your mind but I kind of lived with it. I remember my initial reaction was 'Could this be a death sentence?' But once the intensive chemo/radiation programme was explained to me I just put those thoughts to the back of my mind and just concentrated on getting through the next eight weeks.''

Thankfully the 'Wall Street' star - who is married to Catherine Zeta-Jones - made a full recovery and has been all clear since then.

However, he admits suffering from tongue cancer has ruined his love of red wine.

Speaking at 'An Evening with Michael Douglas', which was hosted by Jonathan Ross at an event in central London, he said: ''Red wine does not taste as good (as it used to). It's a small problem. Spicy food does not bother me as much as it used to. I have certain things I stay away from. I can do beer.''