Eddie Van Halen, 64, 'is suffering from throat cancer which 'doctors believe he contracted after years of sucking on his metal guitar pick'

  • The rocker, 64, had part of his tongue removed in 2000, blaming holding the pick in his mouth, and had reportedly been declared cancer free in 2002 
  • But he has been going to Germany for treatment over the last five years, TMZ say 
  • A source told the site 'for the most part it's worked to keep the disease in check'
  • The band last performed in 2015 at at L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl and there were rumors the band's classic lineup were set to perform for the first time since 1984 

Eddie Van Halen is suffering from throat cancer which he believes he contracted after years of sucking on his metal guitar pick, according to reports. 

The veteran rocker, 64, was diagnosed with cancer nearly 20 years ago and has been travelling between the United States and Germany for treatment, TMZ reports. 

He had a third of his tongue removed in 2000 and had reportedly been declared cancer free in 2002 but has now been to Germany to get radiation treatment over the last five years.  

The Van Halen star, who was a 'heavy smoker', is said to blame holding the pick in his mouth while on stage for his diagnosis.

Eddie Van Halen, pictured in 2017, is reportedly suffering from throat cancer and has been travelling between the United States and Germany for treatment over the last five years

Eddie Van Halen, pictured in 2017, is reportedly suffering from throat cancer and has been travelling between the United States and Germany for treatment over the last five years

The veteran rocker, pictured in 1980, believes he contracted the disease after years of sucking on his metal guitar pick, according to reports. He had a third of his tongue removed in 2000

The veteran rocker, pictured in 1980, believes he contracted the disease after years of sucking on his metal guitar pick, according to reports. He had a third of his tongue removed in 2000

A source told TMZ 'for the most part it's worked to keep the disease in check' and he is 'doing okay'. 

Eddie told Billboard in 2015: '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.

'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.' 

Eddie's friend and TOTO guitarist Steve Lukather said 'health issues' were stopping the group – who are also made up of singer David Lee Roth, Eddie's brother Alex Van Halen, who plays drums, and Eddie's son Wolfgang Van Halen on bass guitar - from touring. 

The band last performed in October 2015 at at L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl and there were rumors the band's classic lineup were set to perform for the first time since 1984.  

Lukather told The Eddie Trunk Podcast in September: 'I love Ed and Alex, they've been friends of mine for 40 years. 

'Everybody wants Van Halen back — nobody more than me, because I still think they're one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. Eddie changed the planet.

'Him and Alex are sitting there laying back and they're waiting to see what happens next. I think they're on a hiatus.'

Van Halen last performed in 2015 at at L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl and there were rumors the band's classic lineup were set to perform for the first time since 1984. Eddie is pictured in 1984

Van Halen last performed in 2015 at at L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl and there were rumors the band's classic lineup were set to perform for the first time since 1984. Eddie is pictured in 1984

Lukather added: 'There's been some health issues that they're dealing with and stuff like that. We're older guys now, and to go on the road, and stuff like that, it requires a lot of extra effort in terms of as a human being.' 

In 2012 the legendary rock guitarist underwent emergency surgery for a 'severe bout of Diverticulitis' – small pouches formed in the wall of the intestine that can cause a great deal of pain when inflamed or infected. 

As a result of his operation, the group postponed the Japan leg of their tour. 

Eddie Van Halen has throat cancer: star blames metal guitar pick

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