The Real Reason Ronnie Wood Refused Chemotherapy For His Cancer

Rolling Stones icon Ronnie Wood, now a septuagenarian, has had to face tremendous hardships of late. The death of longtime bandmate Charlie Watts was an awful blow, and his cancer diagnosis similarly threw him for a loop. In March 2018, Wood told Sky News that he had been diagnosed with cancer, which was thankfully behind him at the time of the interview. "It was all in one lung and phew, all out the window," as he eloquently put it. "Yeah, that's gone." Sadly, it seems that it didn't stay that way.

In April 2021, Wood told The Sun, the rocker learned that he had cancer again: small-cell cancer, a type with which time is particularly of the essence. Again, he overcame it. "I came through with the all-clear," he delightedly reported to the newspaper, though chemotherapy did not play a part in his recovery following his earlier scare. Why? Because he insisted on keeping his trademark mop of hair.

Ronnie Wood didn't want to lose his hair

As Ronnie Wood told Event Magazine (via The Daily Mail), his lung cancer was found during a check-up. "I went along to see our good old doctor, Richard Dawood, because we all have to be checked before we go on tour," he explained, and Dawood quickly detected the danger. Grave danger it was, too, Wood went on, as if the cancer had reached his lymph nodes, "it would have been all over for me."

Despite the peril he was in, the Stones star was determined that he wouldn't go through chemotherapy. "I wasn't going to use that bayonet in my body," he said, going on to state that his reason for this decision was, perhaps, a little vain. "I wasn't going to lose my hair. This hair wasn't going anywhere. I said, 'No way.' And I just kept the faith it would be all right."

Following a grueling five-hour operation, it was indeed all right for the fascinating Wood, who took that faith seriously. He credits the Serenity Prayer of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous with giving him the mindset he needed. As he told The Sun, "'Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.' That's incredible. What will be will be, it's nothing to do with me." Positivity, sobriety, and indulging his passion for creating art carried Wood through these dark times, and fans can't wait to see what's next for him.