Harris said: “None of us knew. He [Bruce] didn’t know. He’d sung fantastic in the studio [for band’s 2015 The Book Of Souls album]. He sounds better than ever, so there was no indication that there was a problem with his throat, but lo and behold, he had a test and it came back that he had a tumor.
“It was scary stuff,” he continued. “Seeing as he’s the youngest and arguably the fittest in the band, it was a massive shock to him and to everyone else as well. But he’s a very positive person, as we all know. He’s full of beans and he’s a fit guy, so he’s come through it.”
Bruce said: “The last two or three weeks were particularly miserable. I was on the morphine and a liquids-only diet, and you lose your sense of taste completely. Everything tastes like cardboard, plasticine, or sand.
“I never realized how essential taste is to appetite until I didn’t have it anymore. But what got me through was custard! The inside of your mouth disintegrates for a period of time… it’s called mucositis and it’s not very nice.
“So I couldn’t speak, because it hurt to use my tongue, but I could take big gulps of custard every day. You end up with the metabolism of a hummingbird during this treatment because you’re being cooked from the inside out, but your body’s also trying to heal itself rapidly, and it goes into overdrive. I think that’s one reason why you lose weight.
“It’s simply because your system is banging away and then eventually it all dropped back down to normal,” Dickinson added. “It’s fascinating. Basically, I am my own science project!”