By Andy Sahadeo
Published October 22, 2019
Eddie Van Halen is not letting his fight against throat cancer keep him down.
The legendary guitarist for Van Halen is currently undergoing treatment for the disease, first diagnosed in 2000. For the past several years, the fretmaster has been traveling back and forth between the United States and Germany for medical treatments relating to the cancer, according to reports
The rocker, known for his virtuosic work on tracks like “Runnin’ with the Devil” and “Hot for Teacher,” was spotted out in Beverly Hills, Calif. this week while shopping for an exotic car at McLaren Beverly Hills. Van Halen was also in town to check out TOOL — who just released their first album in 13 years — performing at the Staples Center.
In 2015, Billboard magazine reported Van Halen had tongue cancer, which migrated into his esophagus. Consequently, one-third of his tongue had to be being surgically removed. The surgery “slightly” affected his speech, but it didn’t stop him from hitting the road and touring.
UK’s Metro also reported Van Halen was initially diagnosed in 2000 but was given the all-clear in 2002.
Van Halen told Billboard that while he ditched the cigarettes, he felt there was something else to blame.
“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 explained at the time. “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.”