Iron Maiden star Bruce Dickinson has recently recovered from tongue cancer and has spoken out about his experiences. Dickinson believes that his cancer was caused by the sexually transmitted HPV virus. Dickinson explains that he discovered two tumors, and he believes they were triggered by the HPV virus, which is transmitted via cunnilingus.
NME reports that Dickinson spoke about his tumors in an Sirius-XM radio interview.
“I had one golf ball-sized [tumor] 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.”
Dickinson explains that people made jokes when Michael Douglas contracted a similar cancer and claimed that it was contracted as a result of performing oral sex on women. Bruce claims that “we need to get over that, because this is serious and hundreds of thousands of people are at risk.”
Bruce is now clear of cancer, but the 56-year-old heavy metal star believes that more should be done to explore the links between HPV [human papillomavirus] and oral cancers. The List reports that Dickinson highlights the fact that not much is known about the effects of HPV.
“[T]he thing about the HPV virus is people don’t know a great deal about it. I don’t mean to be flippant or anything, but you would expect lesbians to have a higher incidence of it. But no, there’s is 25 percent less than in men. It seems to be something that affects men.”
Dickinson says that there are around 150 strains of HPV, but only a few are dangerous. Bruce also claims that 80 percent of us have been exposed to the virus and that it can persist in men over 40-years-old. Dickinson says that the virus can leave behind a genetic marker that can lead to a cancer developing.
According to Gigwise Bruce also used his interview to offer some advice to guys over 40. Dickinson advises men in this demographic to have any lumps “properly checked out”. Bruce says “don’t just assume that antibiotics will get rid of it.”
Dickinson also explains that his experiences have given him a better insight into the issues that those battling cancer face every day. Bruce also says that his experience has given him a new determination that he will not allow people to waste his time.
Bruce said, “I’ve learnt to have less time for people who waste my time. If I want to waste my time, I’ll waste my own time.”
[Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]