IN a bombshell interview, MICHAEL DOUGLAS revealed that oral sex triggered his near-deadly bout with throat cancer, and now pals of his wife CATHERINE ZETA-JONES fear for her health!

The 68-year-old actor, who reportedly sought treatment for sex addiction in 1992, has finally confessed what ENQUIRER readers have known for almost three years – that he tested positive for the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is transmitted sexually and can cause cancer.

“Michael has been extremely active sexually over the years – both before and during his two marriages,” confided a Douglas family friend.

When he was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, the Academy Award winner – who has denied being a sex addict – blamed the disease on smoking and drinking. But in a recent interview, the “Basic Instinct” star admitted: “This particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from (oral sex).”

The next day Michael tried to distance himself from the embarrassing interview as his rep claimed the star never actually said that oral sex caused his cancer.

Douglas rep said,"Michael Douglas did not say cunnilingus was the cause of his cancer. It was discussed that oral sex is a suspected cause of certain oral cancers as doctor's in the article point out but he did not say it was the specific cause of his personal cancer."

But Catherine — the emotionally fragile beauty – and mom of their son Dylan, 12, and daughter Carys, 10 – has spent time in mental facilities fighting bipolar II disorder, which causes wide mood swings. But her problems could get much worse if she caught her husband’s insidious sexually transmitted disease.

HPV can hide in the human body for years before suddenly and brutally striking, according to Dr. Syed Ahmad, a cancer specialist at the University of Cincinnati. “(Michael) may have con­tracted the virus at any time through unprotected sex, and it incubated in his body until he discov­ered the throat cancer caused by HPV,” explained Dr. Ahmad, who did not treat the star. “His wife is defi­nitely at increased risk of contracting HPV and needs to be closely moni­tored since it causes cervical as well as head and neck cancers.”

Divulged a close source: “Friends are worried about Catherine’s health. Getting an incurable STD, especially from a spouse, is  enough to push any person into the depths of depression. And the fact that it could cause cancer is even more devastating.”