Michael Douglas felt ''numb'' when he was told he had throat cancer.

The 'Basic Instinct' star was diagnosed with the disease - which also affected part of his tongue - in 2010 and was told he had Stage IV cancer, the most advanced stage, and Michael admits he found it difficult to comprehend his diagnosis at first.

Being interviewed about his cancer battle by Samuel L. Jackson for UK TV show 'This Morning' as part of their Male Cancer Awareness Week, Michael said: ''I had an inkling ... particularly when I saw the look on the doctor's face. It kind of all rushes over you, you get a little numb ... very numb.''

''I said, 'Stage four?'... That's where I got a little scared.''

Michael was given the life-changing news just before he was about to embark on a promotional tour for his film 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps'.

The 69-year-old actor was advised not to reveal the full extent of his cancer by his doctor in case the treatment had to be surgical as well as therapeutic.

Michael explained: ''This was right before I had to go on a big tour for 'Wall Street...' so I kinda said there's no way we can cancel the tour and say I don't feel well ... You gotta tell them, so you know, I said, 'You just gotta come out and just tell them I've got cancer and that's that.' But, the surgeon said, 'Let's just say it's throat cancer. I said 'OK, you don't want to say it's tongue cancer? Why's that?' And he said, 'Well, if you really want to know why, if we do have to perform surgery it's not going to be pretty. You'll lose part of your jaw and your tongue and all of that stuff.' So I said, 'OK sure...' ''

Samuel, 64, is fronting a new campaign One For The Boys which is trying to encourage more men to get checked for cancer and don't ignore symptoms until it's too late.

Michael's interview airs on Thursday (10.10.13).