Def Lep Viv: I know I'll have to fight cancer for ever

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell has accepted that he’ll probably have to deal with cancer for the rest of his life.

He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2013 then announced last year that he was in remission – before revealing in June that it had returned. Treatment continues as Def Lep work through a North American tour.

Campbell tells the Salt Lake Tribune: “It’s going very, very well, thank you. The bad news is this cancer keeps coming back. The good news is the treatment I’m doing largely continues to work, which is a big, big part of the recovery for me, to be able to continue to do what it is that defines who I am.

“I’ve had a couple rounds of chemo — actually, three rounds of chemo. And last October I did a stem cell transplant.

”I kind of naively thought that would be it, and I was done with it. I guess, given the benefit now of my experiences with this, I kinda realise that I’ll probably be dealing with it for the rest of my life.”

But his medical team continues to approach the issue from every possible angle. “I‘m trying a process called immunotherapy, which is the latest and greatest thinking in how to treat cancer,” says Campbell.

”It’s part of a clinical trial, and it’s early days yet, so I really won’t know until the end of the year.

“The good news is it allows me to continue to tour, because I just have to do these infusions every three weeks or so. As far as side effects, there’s absolutely nothing that’s of any concern. It’s a lot easier to deal with than doing chemo.”

The band are preparing to release their self-titled 11th album on October 30, headed up by lead single Let’s Go. Def Leppard will be available as a Classic Rock Fanpack – four weeks before the regular CD is released.