Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

DEATH OF A LEGEND... ED­DIE VAN HE­LEN

- Health · Cancer · Medicine · Health Conditions · Eddie Van Halen · Van Halen · St. John's · Santa Monica, CA · California · Santa Monica · Billboard · U.S. Centers for Disease Control · Helen · St. John's

Ed­die Van Halen, the leg­endary lead gui­tarist for the band Van Halen, passed away on Tues­day at the age of 65 from throat can­cer. The rock star, who had been bat­tling the dis­ease for at least the last five years, passed away at Saint John's Health Cen­ter in Santa Mon­ica, Cal­i­for­nia. This was not the mu­si­cian's first bout with can­cer, hav­ing been di­ag­nosed with tongue can­cer in the early 2000s.

Van Halen said he be­lieved he de­vel­oped tongue can­cer from me­tal gui­tar picks he held in his mouth dur­ing his con­certs. How­ever, on­col­o­gist say it is 'highly un­likely' that plec­trums caused the dis­ease and point to the rocker's long his­tory of smok­ing and heavy al­co­hol use as more prob­a­ble sources.

Oral cav­ity and oropha­ryn­geal can­cers most of­ten oc­cur on the tongue, in the ton­sils and other parts of the mouth such as the cheeks.

In an in­ter­view with Bill­board Mag­a­zine, Van Halen re­vealed he re­ceived treat­ment in 2000 for tongue can­cer that had spread to his esoph­a­gus. He said he had one-third of his tongue sur­gi­cally re­moved two years later and was sub­se­quently de­clared can­cer-free.

De­spite be­ing a life-long smoker-turned-vaper, Van He­len said he was not cer­tain cig­a­rette caused his can­cer.

“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.' How­ever, physi­cians told Dai­ly­mail.com it is highly un­likely that Van Halen de­vel­oped can­cer from plac­ing me­tal picks into his mouth.

'This is highly un­likely. There is no good ev­i­dence to sup­port this no­tion,' said Dr. J. Trad Wadsworth, vice-chair of Mof­fitt Can­cer Cen­ter's Head and Neck-en­docrine Pro­gram, in a state­ment.

What's more, the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion does not list brass nor cop­per as po­ten­tial oc­cu­pa­tional car­cino­gens. Dr Caitlin Mcmullen, a sur­geon in Mof­fitt's Head and Neck On­col­ogy Pro­gramme, says than oral can­cer can be caused heavy smok­ing and al­co­hol use.

Van Halen, who be­gan drink­ing at age 12, said he strug­gled with al­co­holism for years and said, dur­ing the Bill­board in­ter­view, that at one point he needed al­co­hol to func­tion. He entered re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in 2007 and had been sober since 2008. 'There are some pa­tients who do not smoke or drink that de­velop oral can­cer and we do not know why,' Mcmullen told Dai­ly­mail.com.

'How­ever, it is vastly more com­mon that smok­ing and heavy al­co­hol use cause this dis­ease in pa­tients with these habits.'

 ??  ?? Leg­endary gui­tarist Ed­die Van Halen, 65, passed away on Tues­day af­ter a years-long bat­tle with throat can­cer. In 2000, Van Halen was di­ag­nosed with tongue can­cer, which he at­trib­uted to hold­ing me­tal gui­tar picks in his mouth.
Leg­endary gui­tarist Ed­die Van Halen, 65, passed away on Tues­day af­ter a years-long bat­tle with throat can­cer. In 2000, Van Halen was di­ag­nosed with tongue can­cer, which he at­trib­uted to hold­ing me­tal gui­tar picks in his mouth.
 ??  ?? He also said the can­cer ould have bee caused by 'liv­ing in a record­ing stu­dio that's filled with elec­tro­mag­netic en­ergy. Pic­tured, left to right: Van Halen, Michael An­thony, Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth of the band Van Halen in 1978
He also said the can­cer ould have bee caused by 'liv­ing in a record­ing stu­dio that's filled with elec­tro­mag­netic en­ergy. Pic­tured, left to right: Van Halen, Michael An­thony, Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth of the band Van Halen in 1978
 ??  ?? Throat can­cer can also be caused by HPV, but it is un­known if Van Halen's can­cer was caused by the sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted in­fec­tion. Pic­tured: Van Halen (right) with then-wife, ac­tress Va­lerie Ber­tinielli, in Novem­ber 1992
Throat can­cer can also be caused by HPV, but it is un­known if Van Halen's can­cer was caused by the sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted in­fec­tion. Pic­tured: Van Halen (right) with then-wife, ac­tress Va­lerie Ber­tinielli, in Novem­ber 1992

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