Monday, August 30, 2004

Rolling Stones' drummer throat cancer scare

Charlie Watts, the 'sensible Stone', has throat cancer
By Helen Johnstone, 16/08/2004

Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones drummer, is being treated for throat cancer.

Watts, 63, who stopped smoking 20 years ago and was known as the "clean-living Stone" after giving up alcohol, was diagnosed with the disease in June after discovering a lump in his throat.

He is receiving a six-week course of radiotherapy as an outpatient at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea, near his south-west London home. His spokesman said yesterday he was expected to make a full recovery.

Watts, the oldest member of the Stones, whose records with them have sold millions around the world, was said to be in good form and has been walking to hospital to be treated.

Other members of the band have been informed and Watts was being cared for by Shirley, his wife for more than 40 years, and his 36-year-old daughter Seraphina. He is expected to return to his Devon home when his treatment ends.

Watts's spokesman said: "Having been diagnosed with throat cancer following a minor operation in June, Charlie is reaching the end of radiotherapy treatment. He is expecting to make a full recovery."

A spokesman for the Stones said Watts would be back in the recording studio later in the year.

While the band were once as famous for their partying as for their music, Watts was acknowledged to be its most sensible member, despite a spell in the 1980s when he suffered addiction to drugs and drink.

A family friend said he had been typically upbeat about his condition. "He has retained his sense of humour throughout. He's very positive because he's been told he has every chance of being completely cured."


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