During a recent appearance on the Swedish TV show "Malou Efter Tio", IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson spoke about how his singing voice has changed following his cancer diagnosis three years ago.
"[It's] a little bit different," he said. "Two things are slightly different. One is my saliva, which obviously lubricates your throat a little bit, is a bit less than it used to be. Although, back ten years ago, if I had the same cancer, I wouldn't be making any saliva. But now, I'm probably 70 percent, which is great. Thanks very much, everybody upstairs. [Laughs] And the other things is that I think that the shape of possibly the back of my tongue, which forms vowel sounds and things like that, might have changed shape slightly, because, obviously, it had a big lump in it, and the lump's gone. So maybe the surface has changed shape. So I notice a few differences. Funnily enough, the top end of my voice is maybe even a little bit better than it was before. [Laughs]"
In early 2015, Dickinson underwent a seven-week course of chemotherapy and radiology. A couple of months later, he was given "the all-clear" by his specialists following an MRI scan.
"I was amazed. My cancer was a 3.5-centimeter tumor in my throat and a 2.5-centimeter one in my lymph node, and that was the one that I could feel — that was the secondary one," he said. "But I did 33 sessions of radiation and nine weeks of chemo at the same time, which is fairly standard therapy for it. And it was gone. And I said to my oncologist: 'What do you mean it's gone? Where has it gone?' And he said, 'Well, your body just gets rid of it.' A body is an amazing thing."
Bruce recently expressed disdain for some of the media outlets that suggested he may have gotten tongue cancer from performing oral sex on women.
Dickinson's autobiography, "What Does This Button Do?", landed at No. 10 on the New York Times "Hardcover Nonfiction" best sellers list. It was released in the U.S. on October 31 via Dey Street Books (formerly It Books), an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Bruce told iNews that he wanted to cover his cancer battle 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.