Eddie Van Halen has been suffering from throat cancer for years, and he's been quietly flying between the United States and Germany for treatment, according to a new report.
TMZ reported on Sunday that the rocker believes he developed the cancer from a metal guitar pick that he used more than 20 years ago. Eddie would supposedly cradle the pick in his mouth, and doctors have told him that could have been the source of the cancer. Eddie was also a heavy smoker for years.
According to the report, Eddie, 64, was diagnosed nearly 20 years ago. Back in 2000, shortly after he was diagnosed, doctors removed around a third of his tongue. There have also been times the cancer cells migrated down to his throat, TMZ says, and doctors have had to scrape them out.
The rock legend has been flying to and from Germany for five years to get radiation, and he believes it's worked to keep his vitals in check.
In an interview with Billboard in 2015, Eddie spoke about his health.
"I used metal picks – they're brass and copper – which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer," he said. "Plus, I basically live in a recording studio that's filled with electromagnetic energy. So that's one theory. I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it's possible."