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Def Leppard/Dio's Vivian Campbell battling cancer

by Otto Man

According to a new posting on Def Leppard's web site, Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell has revealed that he was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and has gone through six months of chemotherapy to battle the cancer. The band is preparing for upcoming tour dates in Europe and North America, and the 50-year-old guitarist didn’t want fans to be alarmed when they saw his new look without hair courtesy of the chemo, so he released a statement sharing the details of his health scare and his prognosis:

“I feel fortunate that my cancer sent me an alarm call in the form of ‘the cough that wouldn’t quit’. Otherwise, how would I have known? After several months of trying every inhaler known to man, my doctor finally had me X-rayed. A further CAT scan revealed that enlarged lymph nodes were doing wrestling manoeuvres on my windpipe – hence the cough. What was causing the enlarged lymph nodes, however, was yet to be determined, so I underwent a surgical biopsy on March 11th, the first day of Leppard rehearsals for our Viva Las Vegas shows. Obviously, I didn’t make it to rehearsal that day, but it’s okay; I know the songs by now…

My diagnosis was Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and 6 months of chemotherapy is the prescribed treatment. I’m about 2 months in and feeling rather spiffy, all things considered. Hodgkin’s has an over 80% cure rate, so by my reckoning, if you’re going to have a cancer, Hodgie’s is the one to have!

The reason I’m sharing this with you is because, despite cancer and chemo, me and my new aerodynamic hairstyle (read: no hair) are going on tour this summer with the band and I don’t want anyone to be so shocked by my new look that they ask for a refund. Simple economics, really.

My family, friends and bandmates have all been extremely supportive through this and I look forward to a summer full of shows with both Def Leppard in June/July and the debut of Last In Line this August.”

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