What Ronnie Wood Wouldn't Have Done to Fight Cancer

There would've been no chemo if cancer had spread: 'This hair wasn't going anywhere'
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2017 10:39 AM CDT
Ronnie Wood: I Would've Refused Chemo to Keep Hair
Ronnie Wood   (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File)

Three months ago, Ronnie Wood was diagnosed with lung cancer, right before he turned 70. In a recent interview with the Daily Mail's Event Magazine, Wood, the other hard-living, hard-partying guitarist in the Rolling Stones, says he refused chemotherapy as a treatment option because he wanted to keep his mane intact. "'I wasn't going to lose my hair," Wood says. "This hair wasn't going anywhere." Doctors discovered the cancerous lesion in Wood's lung in May as part of a routine checkup before the Rolling Stones tour this fall. Wood says he chain-smoked for 50 years but gave up cigarettes last year, before the birth of his twin daughters.

After doctors discovered the cancer, Wood underwent a week of tests to determine if it had spread to his lymph nodes or anywhere else in his body. The guitarist says he made up his mind then that if it had, he wouldn't put himself through chemotherapy. "I wasn't going to use that bayonet in my body," he says. When doctors determined the cancer hadn't spread, Wood immediately underwent surgery to have it removed. Wood, who says he drank, smoked, and did cocaine and heroin throughout his career, is cancer-free now but has to go for checkups every three months. The Rolling Stones kick off their 14-date "No Filter" tour Sept. 9 in Hamburg, Germany. (More Ronnie Wood stories.)

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