Michael Douglas began cancer journey in Canada

Actor Michael Douglas is to headline a fundraiser for the Montreal hospital that detected his cancer.

Star will headline Montreal fundraiser for head and neck cancer

Michael Douglas, shown Feb. 6, will headline a May fundraiser in Montreal for head and neck cancer. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

Michael Douglas's battle with throat cancer began in Canada when a Montreal hospital detected the disease after physicians elsewhere had given him a clean bill of health.

Now the Oscar-winning actor plans to use his star power to help out at a fundraiser for McGill University's head and neck cancer fund.

Douglas, 66, had treatment in the U.S. last year for a walnut-sized tumour  in his throat. He is now cancer-free.

The initial diagnosis came from McGill-affiliated Jewish General Hospital, his publicist Allen Burry confirmed Monday. Burry said Douglas, who won an Oscar for 1987's Wall Street, was "happy to do" the fundraiser.

Douglas and his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, own a vacation home in the Mont-Tremblant area north of Montreal.

The May 3 event at Le Windsor in Montreal will see Douglas mingle with guests at a $375-a-head dinner. With a $750 ticket, guests can get a little more face time with the star at a pre-event cocktail party.

"We were very appreciative of his kind support — it was a gracious personal offer and certainly reflected his own inner personality and willingness to help battle head and neck cancer," said Dr. Saul Frenkiel, co-chair of the annual Head and Neck Cancer Fundraiser, held by the department of otolaryngology of the McGill University.

Head and neck cancers are those affecting the thyroid, throat, mouth, tongue, voice box and nasal chambers.

In an interview with David Letterman last year, Douglas said he had been repeatedly checked by doctors after suffering a persistent sore throat. It wasn't until the Montreal hospital did tests that the throat cancer was diagnosed.

A letter from McGill to donors interested in the fundraiser says Douglas had both chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and doctors "hold great optimism for his successful recovery."

The money raised at the Douglas event will go to helping develop new treatments and surgical procedures. Last year's event brought in about $1.5 million,

"We're hoping as the evening unfolds that it will be a big year (for the event … there's a buzz," Frenkiel said.

With files from the Canadian Press