"Just before Christmas, MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson visited his doctor for a routine check-up. This led to tests and biopsies which revealed a small cancerous tumour at the back of his tongue. A seven-week course of chemotherapy and radiology treatment was completed yesterday. As the tumour was caught in the early stages, the prognosis thankfully is extremely good.

Bruce's medical team fully expect him to make a complete recovery with the all clear envisaged by late May. It will then take a further few months for Bruce to get back to full fitness. In the meantime, we would ask for your patience, understanding and respect for Bruce and his family’s privacy until we update everyone by the end of May. Bruce is doing very well considering the circumstances and the whole team are very positive."

IRON MAIDEN is believed to be putting the finishing touches on its new studio album with longtime producer Kevin Shirley for a 2015 release.

MAIDEN's 15th CD, "The Final Frontier", sold 63,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 4.

Dickinson made his live debut with IRON MAIDEN at the end of 1981, after the band had already made two well-received albums with frontman Paul Di'Anno. He had viewed the group's early emergence from a ringside seat as lead singer with SAMSON.

In a 2008 interview with Billboard, Dickinson stated about how he came to join MAIDEN: "Things with Paul hadn't been going terribly well, and they'd made the decision to get rid of him. So they came and took a peek at me. Clive had been in SAMSON for three years, and 'Killers' was being made at Zomba Studios, which back then was Morgan Studios. We were in Morgan, and MAIDEN were in the opposite. So we used to go to the pub and have a few beers and chat. I went over and listened to the MAIDEN record and Clive would come over and listen to ours… Rod Smallwood offered me the chance of an audition, he didn't offer me the job. This was at Reading Festival. I said, 'Well, alright. First of all, if I do the audition, I'm going to get the job, so you need to figure out whether or not you want me onboard, because I don't want to be unless I can be a pain in the ass and have some opinions. I'm not going to be like the old guy. I'm going to have disagreements with Steve, because I've got some ideas about how I want to change things around. So if you don't want that, you'd better tell me now.' They asked me to learn three songs and I basically learned the lot, both albums. So we turned up to the rehearsal room and let rip. Steve picked up the phone and said, 'Could we get him into a studio today?'"

After he joined MAIDEN, "there was no transition," explained Dickinson. "It was zero to 100 miles an hour in one stride. That rush continued for five years, solid. It was No. 1 album, No. 1 tour, biggest thing on the planet. I'd never done a gig outside the U.K. until I joined MAIDEN. Unless Inverness counts. I'd probably only done 20 or 30 gigs in my life."

Dickinson quit IRON MAIDEN in 1993 in order to pursue his solo career, which saw him experiment with a wide variety of heavy metal and rock styles. He rejoined the band in 1999.

March 5 update

IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson recently underwent a seven-week course of chemotherapy and radiology to treat a small cancerous tumor at the back of his tongue.

In a new posting on MAIDEN's Facebook page, the band's longtime manager Rod Smallwood offered the following update on Dickinson's condition:

"Bruce has asked me to thank everyone for their tremendous support and kind wishes. He has been extremely touched and encouraged by the genuine and affectionate response from our global family of MAIDEN fans.

"Radiology is cumulative and continues to build in the body for around three weeks after treatment, so even though Bruce's seven-week course is completed, he's had a long period of considerable pain and discomfort. He is happily now starting to recuperate and the pain will continue to abate and the swelling to reduce for the next couple of months at which time he will be able take an MRI scan. It is not until then that we will have full confirmation that the cancer has been completely destroyed. However, prognosis continues to be extremely good and everyone is optimistic for a full recovery. Following the scan, we will officially update you on Maidens website at the appropriate time, probably in late May. After that, it will take a few more months for Bruce to get back to full fitness. Naturally, the rest of the band are totally supportive and MAIDEN's plans will be determined by Bruce's progress.

"Please continue your positive thoughts. They are very much appreciated.”