The rumors of Eddie Van Halen‘s worsening health continue with a new report from TMZ stating the guitarist is battling throat cancer. According to the gossip site’s story, the guitraist has been traveling between the U.S. and Germany for treatment going on several years now, with Van Halen — a longtime heavy smoker — reportedly convinced he contacted the disease by “frequently cradling his metal pick in his mouth.” In 2000, surgeons removed roughly one-third of Van Halen’s tongue due to the disease.
According to a TMZ source: “Eddie was diagnosed nearly 20 years ago. Sources with direct knowledge tell us over the years there were times some of the cancer cells migrated down to his throat, and doctors would scrape them out. Our sources say, ‘Eddie has flown to Germany for five years to get radiation treatment, and for the most part it’s worked to keep the disease in check. As for his current condition, there are lots of rumors, but people who know him say he’s seems to be doing okay — at least on the surface.'”
Various outlets have reported ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli visited the ailing guitarist last week, with several outlets painting the get together as the actress saying her last goodbyes. There’s been no comment from either camp that the visit held any sort of significance to the get-together.