Iron Maiden Star Battled Cancer In 2020

Michael Angulia | December 21, 2022
Iron Maiden Band's Facebook promo photo circa 2012
Band's Facebook promo photo circa 2012

Longtime Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain shared in a new feature for the University Of Miami Health System that he was diagnosed with stage 1 laryngeal cancer in 2020 and successfully had surgery to remove the cancer.

McBrain explained in the article that he saw his doctor after noticing a change in his voice. "When I play drums with the band, I actually sort of scream and yell while I play, like a Judo guy slapping the mat.

"[But] when you are lying down in a quiet room and you speak and hear your voice in your head and have a cold, you sound different. This happened to me. I thought this is very reminiscent - this different sounding voice of mine - to when I finish a tour or after a show.

"I didn't have a cold or any symptoms of illness at all. I started to feel that I was clearing my throat more when I was in conversations. So, I just took it on myself to call my doctor."

Nicko was referred to David E. Rosow, M.D., FACS, director of the Division of Laryngology and Voice at the University of Miami Health System, who performed an endoscopy.

Dr. Rosow said, "Anyone who is experiencing a voice change that lasts longer than three weeks should see an otolaryngologist who can evaluate a person's vocal folds.

"Many cases present with a voice change like Nicko's and often when the tumor is as small as one to two millimeters, which makes the tumor easier to completely remove. The prognosis with early (stage 1) tumors is excellent, with published cure rates of 95% and up."

McBrain added, "I thoroughly recommend that anyone who may feel there is something different with their voice to go and get it checked out. And don't put it off. It was very good for me that I caught it in stage 1."

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