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Eddie Van Halen was born in Europe — the Netherlands, to be specific — and that’s where he’s been going to receive medical treatment, according to a report from TMZ.
The website reports that for the past five years, the 64-year-old guitarist has been flying to Germany to receive radiation treatment for throat cancer. According to TMZ, Van Halen was diagnosed almost 20 years ago. In 2000, doctors removed a third of Van Halen’s tongue due to cancer.
While Van Halen was a heavy smoker, TMZ says he believes he developed the cancer as a result of holding his guitar pick in his mouth. While most guitarists hold their picks in their mouth, Eddie’s pick was made of metal, not plastic, and TMZ reports that he’s been told that the pick “could very well have” caused the disease.
TMZ reports that Van Halen is currently “doing O.K.,” despite his illness.
In 2012, Van Halen underwent surgery for a bout of diverticulitis.
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