IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson told Fox News in a new interview that he was determined to stay confident after he was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2015.
“I guess I had to take a long, hard look at myself… So what am I going to be like? How am I going to be just grumpy, aggressive, snappy and [feel] sorry for myself?” he explained. “I thought there must be a better way of doing it. Because I actually thought of getting angry with it, like in my head. Like, I would visualize angry things. Like sticking pins in all these nasty cancer cells. And I remember one evening going, that’s absolutely exhausting. I mean, why exhaust yourself? The chemo and radiation is already doing that. That’s sticking plenty of pins in.
“Why don’t you just look after yourself and feel good about yourself and just get on with it? And behave as if this were an aberration and not a permanent fixture,” he continued. “Maybe that’s the best way of dealing with it. And that was my choice… And I’m not a terribly negative person in general. So the idea of being wholly negative for six months went completely against my personality… I have to think of it in a positive way. So that’s where it came from.”
Dickinson wrote about the the subject extensively in his autobiography, “What Does This Button Do?”, where he talked about how he overcame the “golf-ball”-sized growth on his tongue and endured radiation therapy that left the energetic frontman sapped of energy.
Bruce told iNews that he wanted to cover the episode in his book to raise awareness of the condition, which affects people who often have no or minimal history of tobacco or alcohol abuse. The individuals with HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer who undergo treatment have a disease-free survival rate of 85 to 90 percent over five years.
Dickinson also expressed disdain for some of the media outlets that suggested he may have gotten tongue cancer from performing oral sex on women.