IRON MAIDEN's BRUCE DICKINSON Opens Up About Tongue Cancer Diagnosis

October 17, 2017

IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson spoke to iNews about being diagnosed with tongue cancer in December 2014. The singer later revealed that the cancer was caused by HPV, the human papilloma virus, which can be contracted through oral sex.

Dickinson wrote about the the subject extensively in his autobiography, "What Does This Button Do?", where he talked about how he overcame the "golf-ball"-sized growth on his tongue and endured radiation therapy that left the energetic frontman sapped of energy.

Bruce told iNews that he wanted to cover the episode in his book to raise awareness of the condition, which affects people who often have no or minimal history of tobacco or alcohol abuse. The individuals with HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer who undergo treatment have a disease-free survival rate of 85 to 90 percent over five years.

"I was trying to be informative, to say this is what it feels like to go through this; but everybody goes through that and I was lucky. I got the all-clear and the treatment left me relatively unscathed," he said.

"But the truth is the treatment itself is hugely damaging to people. I've spoken to a lot of men who had the same cancer and had exactly the same treatment and while all of them thankfully had good outcomes, one or two of them had a horrendous time, far worse than me.

"This is ongoing with men with this particular cancer around the world. There's an epidemic of it, and it's a kind of unspoken thing. Everybody knows about cervical cancer, but nobody really knows about this cancer, which is the same."

Dickinson also expressed disdain for some of the media outlets that suggested he may have gotten tongue cancer from performing oral sex on women.

"I'm like, really? If your wife or daughter got cervical cancer, you'd go round and tell all your mates that she was a slag, would you?" he said. "It's disgraceful. But because it's men, people think they can get away with it."

While most strains of HPV clear up on their own, the sexually transmitted virus is responsible for an array of cancers.

A study, published earlier in the month in the Annals Of Internal Medicine, found that eleven million men and more than three million women in the United States had oral HPV infections. Among them, seven million men and around one and a half million women had strains that can cause cancers of the throat, tongue and other areas of the head and neck.

According to the Centers For Disease Control, about seventy-nine million Americans are currently infected with HPV and approximately fourteen million people become newly infected each year, making it the most common sexually transmitted infection in the nation.

Find more on Iron maiden
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).