Eddie Van Halen was diagnosed and treated for tongue cancer nearly 20 years ago. Now, a new report claims the legendary guitarist has been seeking treatment for throat cancer in recent years.
Back in 2000, Eddie underwent treatment for tongue cancer. He subsequently had part of his tongue removed, and was declared cancer-free in 2002. Despite being a heavy smoker, the Van Halen icon blamed his cancer diagnosis on metal guitar picks that he kept in his mouth while performing.
Now, sources have revealed to TMZ that the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is suffering from throat cancer. He has reportedly received radiation treatment in Germany for the last five years.
The treatment has apparently been effective, as Eddie’s been able to keep the “disease in check” for the most part.
TMZ’s report comes after recent interviews with Van Halen singer David Lee Roth, who recently said of the band, “I think Van Halen is finished.” The vocalist went on to say, “I’ve inherited the band de facto — whatever that means. … Van Halen isn’t gonna be coming back in the fashion that you know. And that being said, Eddie’s got his own story to tell. [It’s] not mine to tell it.”
In another recent interview, Roth was asked bout Eddie’s health, to which he responded, “I hear all the same rumors that you do and it’s not my place to guess.”
Technically, Van Halen have not officially broken up, with their most recent lineup consisting of Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Alex Van Halen, and Wolfgang Van Halen. Rumors swirled that classic bassist Michael Anthony would rejoin the band for a major 2019 stadium tour, but the “plug got pulled” before any serious talks materialized.
For his part, Eddie Van Halen has yet to publicly comment on the report. Instead, he used his most recent Instagram post to praise a new cover of “Runnin’ With the Devil” by singer-songwriter Jennifer Hope. His statement, which was also included in a press release, reads, “When I heard Jennifer Hope’s ‘trailer remix’ version of ‘Runnin’ With the Devil’ I was blown away. It is a very powerful, unique approach, and I couldn’t have done better myself!” Listen to the track below.