Enlarge Photo Credit: Bruce McMurtrie for Consequence of Sound

Bruce Dickinson Offers Health Update on Cancer Recovery

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It’s been nearly four years since Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson was diagnosed with tongue cancer. Thankfully his recovery has gone as well as could be imagined, and metal’s most vivacious elder statesman was back to rocking stages worldwide in 2016 after the release of their much-heralded 2015 album The Book of Souls.

Cancer treatment is tricky, though, as anyone who’s ever had the disease or known someone who’s had it will tell you. A recurrence is always possible, and regular check-ups are crucial. To that end, Dickinson provided an update on his health in a recent interview with Andrew Haug:

Talking about surviving cancer, we know that your approach to life is – not even just, ‘take it by the horns’ but, ‘put it on high speed as well.’ How much of that experience has accelerated your learning curve to do more things? Has that given you a bit more of an extra lightning bolt?
“Yeah, I mean, perhaps subconsciously. It’s not a conscious thing, but even before I got diagnosed, I had several projects on the go and then when I got diagnosed with cancer I was like, ‘Oh no, no. Really? You’re kidding me.’

“There was a half of me that was like, ‘Well I suppose you might die, but the chances are that you won’t – but what a pain in the ass this cancer is.’ I just had to settle down and go, you know, ‘I’m not going to give up on these things.’ I’m just going to have to put myself in the deep freeze a little bit for a few months while I nail this thing.

“The treatment is pretty aggressive so hopefully, you come out the other side of the treatment in a reasonable shape. I know some guys who’ve had exactly the same cancer as me, who had pretty much exactly the same treatment as me and their bodies have responded, they got rid of cancer, but their bodies responded very differently to mine.

“There were some really quite unpleasant side effects, which I’ve been really lucky that I managed to sidestep the worst of them. I mean, in terms of long-term, the worst of them.”

So everything is pretty much in the clear now. You haven’t had any ill repercussions? Obviously, I believe you get regular check-ups?

“This coming May, it’ll be four years since I was given the all-clear, so now I just go back every six months to my specialist and get a checkup. I have to keep having my cure looked at for various reasons to do with radiation. Because when you do that amount of radiation, the lower jaw, the mandible, the bone basically doesn’t like it, and it kind of permanently, effectively – all the soft tissues, they regenerate, but the bone, sadly, once irradiated, doesn’t respond very well.”

Iron Maiden just announced a massive North American tour for summer 2019, so hopefully Bruce Bruce continues to receive good news from his doctors in advance of the trek. Just don’t suggest the band be inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame because he probably won’t take too kindly!

[via Ultimate Guitar]

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