Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson was given the all-clear in May after-battling tongue cancer and now he’s revealed the possible cause of his illness.
Speaking to Sirius-XM Radio (via Ultimate Guitar), Dickinson said that the cancer was caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV). As the 57 year-old had cancer in the mouth, he could’ve contracted the virus through oral sex.
“I’m almost willing to bet, anytime you hear about somebody who gets tonsil cancer, throat cancer, lung cancer, whatever it is, if they’re not heavy smokers and they’re not massive, heavy drinkers, it’s almost inevitably [HPV],” Dickinson, who is not a smoker, told radio host Eddie Trunk.
The singer used the opportunity to advertise how common this type of virus and cancer is in men over 40, noting there has been a 500 percent increase in the amount of people in that demographic diagnosed.
“Looking at other guys’ experiences and clinical reports, you find out that, wow, this thing is really prevalent and lots and lots of guys, they don’t know a huge amount about why, about why it affects some guys and not other guys, why some guys get an HPV infection that doesn’t go away, ’cause they normally just go away. But in some guys over forty, it doesn’t.”
Of course, the general public’s reaction to anything involving oral sex is to make jokes but Dickinson warned that it’s “serious”.
He used actor Michael Douglas, who revealed the same thing caused his cancer back in 2013, as an example. “Everybody makes the jokes about Michael Douglas ’cause he was having oral sex, and it’s just, like, okay, we need to get over that one, guys,” he said.
Dickinson discovered the cancer when he felt a lump the size of “a large strawberry” in his neck which was the result of an enlarged lymph node.
“Guys should know, if you get a lump here, and you’re over forty, don’t just assume antibiotics will get rid of it. Go and properly get it checked out. It’s important.”
Iron Maiden are about to embark on a massive world tour in support of their new album The Book Of Souls. Dickinson will pilot a brand new Boeing 747-400 Jumbo Jet and fly the band to 35 countries around the world including Australia.
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