Def Leppard Guitarist Vivian Campbell Has Cancer

2:23 PM PST 06/10/2013 by Marc Schneider, Billboard
Gitte Meldgaard
From left: Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Joe Elliott, Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell

Despite a diagnosis of Hodgkin's Lymphoma, the rocker will continue on with the band's summer tour.

Def Leppard rocker Vivian Campbell says a "cough that wouldn't quit" has turned out to be cancer. The guitarist had a surgical biopsy on March 11 following several months of coughing that revealed he has Hodgkin's Lymphoma, he said through a spokesperson on Monday.

Doctors prescribed six months of chemotherapy for the 50-year-old guitarist, who joined Leppard in 1992 after stints in Dio and Whitesnake.

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"I'm about 2 months in and feeling rather spiffy, all things considered," he said in a statement. "Hodgkin's has an over 80% cure rate, so by my reckoning, if you're going to have a cancer, Hodgie's is the one to have!"

Campbell has no plans to skip the upcoming Def Leppard summer tour and playfully explained that part of the reason he's revealing his illness is to prevent any walkouts from fans.

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"Me and my new aerodynamic hairstyle (read: no hair) are going on tour this summer with the band and I don't want anyone to be so shocked by my new look that they ask for a refund," he said. "Simple economics, really."

Following the Leppard tour, which runs from June 21-July 17, Campbell plans to reunite with other original Dio members to tour under the moniker, Last In Line. The group will play a short UK tour to commemorate three decades since recording classic albums like Holy Diver, Last In Line and Scared Heard. Frontman Ronnie James Dio died of stomach cancer in May 2010 at 67.

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