Hollywood actor Michael Douglas has revealed his cancer battle was sparked by a tumour on his tongue - but medics advised him to tell the world he had the disease in his throat because he was facing potentially horrific surgery to cut away a section of his jaw.

The Wall Street star was diagnosed with the illness in 2010 and underwent six months of gruelling radiotherapy treatment before announcing he was in remission in early 2011.

In his statement revealing the diagnosis, Douglas said he was suffering from throat cancer but he has now revealed he actually had cancer of the tongue but was advised by doctors to lie about the illness.

Douglas was interviewed by fellow movie star Samuel L. Jackson as part of British Tv show This Morning's Male Cancer Week, and he tells the Pulp Fiction star of the horrifying moment he learned he had the illness.

He says, "(The doctor) said 'Let's just say it's throat cancer'. I said 'Ok'. (He said) 'We don't want to say it's tongue cancer'. I said 'Why is that?'. He said 'If you really want to know why, if we do have to do surgery it's not going to be pretty. You lose part of your jaw and your tongue and all that stuff'. I was (saying) 'Ok, sure. I'm with you'.

"I wouldn't be able to talk. (I would have to do) silent movies! (When directors ask) 'What's your good side?' (I'd be saying) 'I'll tell you what my good side is - right here! I have no side over here'."