While receiving the Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Award for Outstanding Contribution to U.K. Music, Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson took time out to give an update on his recovery from cancer. He said that he’s been “very fortunate” and has had a “really good bounce-back.”

Acknowledging that he is one of but many people who are faced with the same ordeal, Dickinson told the BBC that he had two tumors. “One was three and a half centimeters — the size of a golf ball — and the other was two and half centimeters and getting a bit bigger. The only symptom was I had a lump in my neck […] I went to the doc and they went, ‘Ooh, that’s a bit weird’ […] [They] had a poke around and went, ‘You have head and neck cancer.”

His reaction at the time? “That’s a bit of a blow, but you get on with it.”

As for his voice, that’s still going to take a while. “The whole thing is still healing up,” he continued. “So you can imagine, to get rid of that with radiation […] the inside of my head has been cooked pretty effectively, you know? […] I can sing, I can talk. I haven’t gone out and done the equivalent of trying to run 100 meters in the same way that I used to sing before, because, let it all calm down. I only finished coming out of treatment two months ago, for God’s sake. And the doctor said, ‘It’ll take a year for you to be better.’ Well, we’ve beaten that by about six months so far, you know? But I’m not going to try to push things to prove a point.”

Iron Maiden’s next album, Book of Souls, will be released Sept. 4. It’s their first-ever double album, with 11 songs totaling 92 minutes.Their plans to tour in support of the record were put on hold due to Dickinson’s condition.

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