Bruce Dickinson Embraced Cancer Treatment, Says Cancer ‘Not a Death Sentence Anymore’

In 2014, Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson was diagnosed with throat cancer, but having undergone treatment he's been able to return to the band and resume his career. Dickinson has been traveling the country on a spoken-word tour of late and during a stop in Orlando he reflected on his cancer journey, offering what insight he would give to someone about to start their cancer battle.

Dickinson first recalled his own approach after learning he'd been diagnosed with cancer. He told the crowd (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), "Here's the way I dealt with it… And people will deal with it in different ways. I embraced the treatment. So I went along to see the big radiation machine and I said, 'Okay, how does this work then? What does it do? And how much are you giving me and where? And how are you making a difference between this one and this one and this one? And you can do what with it? Wow, that's really cool. That's amazing. It's insane, the technology.'"

Dickinson then addressed what advice he would offer, stating, "I would say embrace the treatment and always remember the [likelihood]… I don't know what your cancer is. I don't know the individual circumstances. I'm not a doctor, so I'm not gonna make any predictions. I can't do anything like that, nor would I, 'cause it's very private. But I have to say that the therapies that people are coming up with now are so on the edge and successful that you really do stand a very good chance. 'Cause half of us are gonna get cancer, and it's not a death sentence anymore, and you can deal with it."

He continued, "The things they have to do to your body to get rid of it are getting better and better and better as we go down the line. They did some nasty things to my body. I'm lucky I'm completely clear of it and everything."

Dickinson also revealed, "I only really talk about it when I come to do these shows 'cause people want to know. I quite enjoy talking about it because you kind of demystify it a little bit for people. It's a scary thing."

In May of 2015, Dickinson was declared cancer-free. The Iron Maiden vocalist also addressed his cancer journey in 2021 during a lengthy TEDTalk, stating, “I had cancer five years ago. It was pretty hard for the first week or so to think of that as being a gift, but actually in hindsight, it was. When I had cancer, I was not intending to check out anytime soon. I realized it was a possibility, but I can not change that outcome. What can I do? I can make a plan for the future. Let’s go and start the process of learning to fly a 747. Let’s do the ground school, let’s lay the groundwork. Let’s assume I’m going to be able to do that, because I came back and flew a 747 on the tour after I came back from cancer.”

Having gone through cancer has allowed Dickinson unique insight to help others in their journey as well, In 2020, Megadeth's Dave Mustaine shared that Dickinson had helped him through his own journey with throat cancer offering words of encouragement during a phone call. “I was pretty proud of Bruce after speaking with him,” Mustaine told Forbes. “Although we’re not super close, I consider him to be someone I look up to. He basically told me the same thing I just told you: surround yourself with good, upbeat, positive people, places and things and try not to cause any unnecessary stress on yourself.”

Dickinson's spoken word tour is currently booked through March. See where he's playing and learn more about the run here.

Bruce Dickinson Spoken Word Tour Orlando

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