Michael Douglas caused controversy in 2013 for making a similar claim about his cancer

By K.c. Blumm
Updated September 04, 2015 12:25 AM
Dave Benett/Getty

Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson said in a radio interview on Tuesday that he’s been given the all-clear after undergoing chemotherapy for stage 3 tongue cancer, but it was another statement he made during his chat with Opie Radio that is making news.

The rocker, who had a golf gall-size tumor on his tongue and another in the lymph node on the right side of his neck, suggested that it might have been caused by the sexually transmitted HPV virus.

Referencing Michael Douglas, who was criticized for making a similar statement in 2013 about the cause of his tongue cancer, Dickinson, 57, told interviewer Jim Norton, “Everybody went ‘Ha ha ha ha’ [about Douglas], but in actual fact, the thing about the HPV virus is people don’t know a great deal about it.”

Dickinson, who got the all-clear in May after radiation and nine weeks of chemotherapy, didn’t specifically blame his cancer on oral sex but said that he diagnosed himself six weeks before he went to see a doctor.

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“I ignored what I thought I had, or what I thought I possibly might have, cause I was still finishing the album,” he said. “I thought, ‘I’ll get the album done and then I’ll go see the doctor.’ I had a lump in the side of my neck – kind of like when you get a cold.”

Iron Maiden’s new album, The Book of Souls, was released this week but the band has put off plans to tour till next year to allow the singer time to fully recover.