Bruce Dickinson says he has pinpointed the cause of his throat and mouth cancer, and it's not cigarettes or alcohol.

“It’s a virus – HPV, human papilloma virus,” the Iron Maiden frontman said during a Sirius-XM radio interview with Eddie Trunk. "They all are. I’m almost willing to bet, anytime you hear about somebody who gets tonsil cancer, throat cancer, lung cancer, whatever it is, if they’re not heavy smokers and they’re not massive, heavy drinkers, it’s almost inevitably [HPV]."

That sexually transmitted virus would only be contracted in the mouth, of course, through cunnilingus – and Dickinson said it's become a new concern for older men.

“There’s a five hundred percent increase in this type of cancer in men over 40 — five hundred percent increase. It’s massive," he said. "It’s the same virus that causes cervical cancer. The diagnosis is the same. It’s the same words they use. And everybody makes the jokes about Michael Douglas [who made a similar connection with his own cancer], ’cause he was having oral sex and it’s just, like, okay, we need to get over that one, guys, because this is kind of serious. There’s hundreds of thousands of people at risk for this.”

Dickinson's advice? "Guys should know, if you get a lump here, and you’re over 40, don’t just assume antibiotics will get rid of it. Go and properly get it checked out. It’s important.”

Dickinson and Iron Maiden are set to release their first-ever double album this week, titled Book of Souls. An accompanying tour is on hold, however, while Dickinson continues his recovery.

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