A doctor has refuted Eddie Van Halen's theory that he developed cancer after keeping guitar picks in his mouth during shows.
The guitarist was treated for tongue cancer in 2000, resulting in surgery which removed a third of his tongue. He was declared cancer-free in 2002.
In a 2015 interview with Billboard, Van Halen revealed that he had given up smoking cigarettes but blamed guitar picks for his cancer diagnosis.
"I used metal picks — they're brass and copper — which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer," Van Halen said. "Plus, I basically live in a recording studio that's filled with electromagnetic energy. So that's one theory. I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it's possible."
Dr. Tom Micklewright, the medical officer at the British medical consultation service Push Doctor, told Insider that Van Halen's health issues were likely not caused by a guitar pick. In an interview published Monday, Micklewright cited the fact that neither copper nor the metals found in brass are considered carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
"Copper coils have been used as contraception in the human body for many years without evidence in increased cancer risk," Micklewright said. "In contrast, numerous chemicals contained within cigarettes have been conclusively proven to significantly increase cancer risk, and the more likely cause of his throat cancer."
There have been a lot of rumors regarding Eddie Van Halen's supposedly worsening health, including a recent report from TMZ stating the guitarist is battling throat cancer. According to the gossip site's story, the guitarist has been traveling between the U.S. and Germany for treatment going on several years now.
TMZ reported: "Eddie was diagnosed nearly 20 years ago. Sources with direct knowledge tell us over the years there were times some of the cancer cells migrated down to his throat, and doctors would scrape them out. Our sources say, 'Eddie has flown to Germany for five years to get radiation treatment, and for the most part it's worked to keep the disease in check. As for his current condition, there are lots of rumors, but people who know him say he's seems to be doing okay — at least on the surface.'"
A rep for Van Halen had no comment on TMZ's report when reached by Fox News.
Earlier this year, rumors were rampant that the classic-era lineup of VAN HALEN would reunite for the first time since 1984. It's unclear why the tour didn't happen, though there has been online chatter that a health setback involving Eddie Van Halen might have been responsible.
VAN HALEN has been inactive since it completed its U.S. tour in October 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
The trek was VAN HALEN's first since an aborted North American run three years earlier in support of its comeback album, "A Different Kind Of Truth".