Bruce Dickinson's Battle With Cancer

Chiswick-based Iron Maiden singer back on tour after illness

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He could not go on tour for reasons "too tumerous to mention". That's what Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson said when asked why the band had to postpone its last world tour.

The Chiswick-based rocker has finished treatment for throat cancer and is looking ahead to a mammoth sixty dates over five months to 35 countries next February. The band have also released a double album, The Book of Souls.

In an interview with The Observer magazine Dickinson describes how he spent the winter battling tongue cancer, a particularly devastating for a singer. He had three weekly rounds of chemotherapy and 33 daily doses of radiotherapy. He has now been given the all-clear but is still recovering.

He told of how he discovered a lump in the side of his neck while he was rehearsing the new Iron Maiden album in Paris. When it did not go away after a few weeks he consulted a doctor in France. Tests in the UK revealed two tumours, one at the back of his tongue, the other on a lymph node near the base of the tongue. Doctors said it had been caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).

His treatment started at the beginning of 2015 and he also tried alternative medicine even a hands-on healer. He took supplements, including grape-seed extract. The last few weeks of treatment were "Pretty rough" and he watched a lot of daytime television.

He remains involved in Cardiff Aviation, the company he confounded three years ago which has an estimated turnover of between £10-20million and 150 employees.

And as well as being the frontman on stage for the band he is also preparing to fly the band, crew, equipment etc on a Boeing 747 - a qualified pilot, he only learned to fly in his 30's.

Bruce has lived in Chiswick for many years with his wife Paddy, and there are two sons and a daughter, aged in their twenties. He is a regular supporter of charity events at the Hogarth Club but keeps a low profile, at odds with the rock-star image.

Asked how he would feel if the illness meant he would not sing again, he replied, "I did wonder if I'd come out of this and not be able to sing again. And I thought ..well that would be a real shame, but at least I'll be alive."


September 13, 2015