Rolling Stones Guitarist Ronnie Wood Reveals He Was Diagnosed With Lung Cancer

In a recent interview, Ronnie Wood, guitarist for the Rolling Stones, revealed that earlier this year he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Reportedly, doctors discovered a "cancerous lesion" during one of Wood's routine check-ups before one of the band's upcoming tours, according to Variety.

Wood said in the interview, "There was a week when everything hung in the balance and it could have been curtains, time to say goodbye."

Additionally, Wood supposedly quit smoking one week before his now 1-year-old twin babies were born, but he was still concerned about the past 50 years of chain-smoking that he had done.

Wood recalled the moment his doctor revealed his diagnosis, saying, "He came back with the news that I had this supernova burning away on my left lung. And, to be totally honest, I wasn't surprised."

He then added, "I knew I hadn't had a chest X-ray since I went into Cottonwood [a rehab clinic in Tucson, Arizona] in 2002. He asked me what I wanted to do and my answer was simple: 'Just get it out of me.'"

Luckily, the cancer had not spread to his lymph nodes. However, it was still necessary for him to have surgery to remove part of his lung.

"I was prepared for bad news but I also had faith it would be OK," Wood said. "Apart from the doctors, we didn't tell anyone because we didn't want to put anyone else through the hell we were going through. But I made up my mind that if it had spread, I wasn't going to go through chemo, I wasn't going to use that bayonet in my body."

He chose not to do chemotherapy but kept a positive attitude that his treatments would work. "It's more I wasn't going to lose my hair,' Wood said. "This hair wasn't going anywhere. I said, 'No way.' And I just kept the faith it would be all right. A week later they came back with the news that it hadn't spread and I said, 'Let's get it out now.' Just before I closed my eyes for the operation I looked at the doctor and said, 'Let battle commence.'"

Lastly, Wood encouraged other people to make sure they get screened for the illness, saying, "I'm OK now. But I'm going to have a check-up every three months. They caught it early. People have to get checked. Seriously have to get checked. I was bloody lucky but then I've always had a very strong guardian angel looking out for me. By rights I shouldn't be here."


Photo Credit: Getty / Mauricio Santana