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Elvis Costello reveals 'small but aggressive' cancer, cancels tour dates

Elvis Costello announced he has been treated for a "small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy" that has caused him to cancel six remaining tour dates.
/ Source: TODAY

Elvis Costello has revealed that he is recovering from treatment for an unspecified form of cancer that prompted him to cancel the remaining six dates on his current European tour.

"Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, 'You should start playing the Lotto,'" Costello wrote on his website. "He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery."

Elvis Costello had to cancel six European tour dates after revealing he had been treated for an "aggressive" form of cancer. Richard Shotwell / AP

The acclaimed 63-year-old musician was told by doctors he needed three to four weeks of recovery. He began playing nightly shows that lasted up to two hours before doctors advised him to call off the remainder of the tour.

"The spirit has been more than willing but I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength,'' he wrote. "Therefore, I must reluctantly cancel all the remaining engagements of this tour."

His fans and fellow musicians sent him well wishes for a speedy recovery.

Costello did not reveal the specific type of cancer he was treated for, but directed a message to his male fans when referring to it.

"Take very good care of your loved ones but Gentleman (sic), do talk to your friends - you'll find you are not alone - seek your doctor's advice if you are in doubt or when it is timely and act as swiftly as you may in these matters,'' he wrote. "It may save your life. Believe me, it is better than playing roulette."

He also announced the latest chapter in a career that began in the 1970s as part of a wave of British punk and new wave artists by noting that his first album in five years will be released in October.

"We will return at the soonest opportunity to play that music and your favourite songs that still make sense to us all,'' he wrote.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.