EDDIE VAN HALEN has opened up about his cancer diagnosis over a decade ago and his subsequent recovery, blaming his condition on his guitar picks. He underwent a course of treatment for tongue cancer in 2000 and was declared free of the disease two years later, though about a third of his tongue was removed in surgery.

In a new interview with Billboard, the 60 year old has said that, while he has now quit smoking, he believes his diagnosis might have been down to when used to habitually hold his spare guitar picks in his mouth during sets. “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,” Van Halen said.

Eddie Van HalenEddie Van Halen spoke to Billboard about his cancer diagnosis in 2000

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