Vivian Campbell Cancer: Def Leppard Guitarist Reveals He Has Hodgkin's Lymphoma

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VIVIAN CAMPBELL CANCER
Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell revealed he has cancer. Here, he performs on the opening night of 'VIVA Hysteria!,' the band's 11-show residency, at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on March 22, 2013 in Las Vegas. (David Becker/Getty Images for Def Leppard) | Getty

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell revealed Monday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.

Campbell said after coping with a "cough that wouldn't quit" he went in for a surgical biopsy on March 11 while in Las Vegas with the band and found out he has Hodgkin's lymphoma. He must undergo months of chemotherapy but feels "fortunate that my cancer sent me an alarm call."

"My diagnosis was Hodgkin's Lymphoma and 6 months of chemotherapy is the prescribed treatment," the 50-year-old said in a statement posted to the Def Leppard Facebook page. "I’m about 2 months in and feeling rather spiffy, all things considered. 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!"

"The reason I’m sharing this with you is because, despite cancer and chemo, 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. Simple economics, really."

Hodgkin's lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, according to the Mayo Clinic. Progression of the disease, which is linked to the immune system, compromises the body's ability to fight infection. Symptoms can include fatigue, fever, night sweats, coughing, trouble breathing, unexplained weight loss and swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin.

Despite his cancer diagnosis, Campbell won't skip Def Leppard's summer tour, which kicks off June 21 in France and wraps up July 17 in Canandaigua, N.Y., Billboard notes. He also refuses to miss a Dio (now known as Last in Line) reunion tour, a four-stop tour in August in the United Kingdom.

Campbell joined Def Leppard in 1992. He replaced guitarist Steve Clark, who died of an overdose in 1991. Throughout his career he has also played for Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and Sweet Savage.

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