Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain’s Quiet Battle With Laryngeal Cancer Comes To Light


Nicko McBrain, longtime drummer for multi-platinum British heavy metal icons Iron Maiden, quietly battled cancer during the pandemic years. Although his diagnosis and surgery were disclosed in September of 2021, the matter only recently began to make the rounds.

Per this article published last fall, McBrain revealed that back in 2019 he began to become concerned at how hoarse his voice had become.

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He commented of that:

“When you are lying down in a quiet room and you speak and hear your voice in your head and have a cold, you sound different.,” McBrain said. “This happened to me. I thought this is very reminiscent — this different sounding voice of mine — to when I finish a tour or after a show. I didn’t have a cold or any symptoms of illness at all. I started to feel that I was clearing my throat more when I was in conversations. So, I just took it on myself to call my doctor.”

He was ultimately diagnosed with stage 1 laryngeal cancer and underwent surgery to remove the cancer a week after finding out about it. He has since been in remission for some time now and receives regular checkups. He commented of his ordeal:

“I thoroughly recommend that anyone who may feel there is something different with their voice to go and get it checked out. And don’t put it off. It was very good for me that I caught it in stage 1.”

McBrain‘s heightened vigilance in regards to his health is likely no coincidence. His Iron Maiden bandmate Bruce Dickinson underwent treatment for a cancerous tumor on his tongue back in 2015.

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