As if men everywhere needed less of an excuse to go down on women, now Iron Maiden’s frontman Bruce Dickinson is apparently claiming he contracted tongue cancer from heading downtown on the ladies one too many times.
In an interview with Sirius-XM radio interview with Eddie Trunk, Dickinson, who doesn’t smoke said it all started when he discovered a pair of tumours.
“I had one golf ball-sized one in my tongue, and I had another one the size of a large strawberry or a small walnut in the lymph node in the right side of my neck, and that’s the one that felt a little strange.”
During the diagnosis, the sexually transmitted virus HPV was present. Dickinson explained how that virus and his cancer were linked.
“It’s a virus. HPV — human papilloma virus. They all are. 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… There’s a five hundred percent increase in this type of cancer in men over forty — five hundred percent increase. It’s massive. It’s the same virus that causes cervical cancer. The diagnosis is the same. It’s the same words they use. And the issue is that in guys, typically, it only presents as a lump in the side of your neck. It’s probably already beavering away inside your tongue, and you don’t even know. And the secondary one that pops up is the one that’s right next door — in your lymph node. And that’s the one that [where you go], ‘Hey, what’s this lump in my neck?’
I had two tumors — I had one golf ball-sized one in my tongue, and I had another one the size of a large strawberry or a small walnut in the lymph node in the right side of my neck, and that’s the one that felt a little strange. I thought, ‘Hmm, am I getting a cold? Am I getting some sort of bug, or what’s going on?’ But it didn’t go down, and it was kind of hard; it wasn’t squishy and moving around like normal soft tissue, a lymph node, does. So that was the giveaway, and typically, that is the only giveaway. ‘Cause when I got diagnosed with it, I immediately went in and… You’ve got nothing else better to do for nine weeks or twelve weeks except Google it on the Internet, find out everything you can about it. Know your enemy, you know? And, so, 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.
And everybody makes the jokes about [actor] Michael Douglas [who claimed that cunnilingus could have caused his throat cancer], ’cause he was having oral sex, and it’s just, like, okay, we need to get over that one, guys, because this is kind of serious. There’s hundreds of thousands of people at risk for this. And 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.”
Check out the original interview yourself, with the good stuff beginning at the 23:10 mark.
It’s been four months since Dickinson has been given the all clear by his specialists following his most recent MRI scan. Luckily, the tumour was caught in its early stages and treated successfully with a seven week course of chemotherapy and radiology.
HPV, while sometimes benign in people, can cause certain types of cancers, most notably cervical cancer. However, more than half of sexually active people are infected with one or more HPV types at some point in their lives.