Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has spoken in unflinching detail of his cancer diagnosis and its subsequent treatment. In 2014, the heavy metal legend was diagnosed with HPV, a condition that’s related to cervical cancer and can be contracted through oral sex.
The singer tackles the subject in his new autobiography, What Does This Button Do?, where he reveals a “golf ball” was on his tongue. Dickinson endured radiation therapy that helped him beat the cancer.
Speaking to iNews, Dickinson says that he wrote of the episode to raise awareness of the condition.
“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.”
Given how the disease was contracted, Dickinson is less then thrilled with chortlesome elements of the media who reported on his condition.
“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? It’s disgraceful. But because it’s men people think they can get away with it.”
Elsewhere in Dickinson’s autobiography, he also reveals how he joined the territorial army as a teenager and that he took fencing lessons from the man who taught swashbuckling movie legend Errol Flynn.