John McVie’s battle with silent killer and Stevie Nicks’ words of comfort

Dr Anisha discusses Bowel Cancer symptoms

Fleetwood Mac superstar John McVie was offered words of comfort by fellow bandmate Stevie Nicks when he was diagnosed with a silent killer disease.

In 2013, the bass guitarist was diagnosed with bowel cancer; most specifically, the musician had colon cancer.

At the time, him and his bandmates – who have changed over the years – were touring.

To begin treatment, the band had to cancel the last leg of the tour that was supposed to take place in New Zealand and Australia.

The 77-year-old didn’t disclose the symptoms he suffered from, but the Mayo Clinic is raising awareness about the signs of bowel cancer.

According to the nonprofit medical centre, symptoms of colon cancer can include:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as more frequent diarrhoea or constipation
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
  • Ongoing discomfort in the belly area, such as cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that the bowel doesn’t empty all the way during a bowel movement
  • Weakness or tiredness
  • Losing weight without trying.

READ MORE… 7 signs in your poo you need to see a GP – including how often you need to go

Both Christine and John McVie, who were married for seven years up until 1975, performed as part of Fleetwood Mac.

Christine sang vocals on mega-hits such as You Make Loving Fun and Songbird, as well as adding keys and backing vocals to many other hits.

Christine joined the legendary line-up in 1970, some four years before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the fold.

But, following Christine’s death in November last year, Stevie Nicks, 75, said the band is over.

Back when John was getting treated for colon cancer, Nicks said: “He’s good. He’s got his treatment… he [had] surgery. I’m not the least bit worried about John.

“He’s very, very strong and a man of very few words. He’s not a man to mess with… I am telling you that John McVie is gonna [sic] be just fine.” 

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In the original line-up of Fleetwood Mac, there was:

  • Mick Fleetwood
  • John McVie
  • Peter Green
  • Jeremy Spencer.

John has remained a consistent fixture of the rockband, but hasn’t toured with them for years.

While his cancer treatment was a success, reportedly putting him in remission in 2017, by 2021 the bassist was described as “frail”.

The late Christine said at the time: “He is feeling a little bit frail. You know he was ill.”

Bowel cancer screening

Bowel cancer screening is offered every two years to men and women aged 60 to 74.

People older than this can ask for a screening kit every two years by calling the free helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

If you experience symptoms of bowel cancer, do not wait to be eligible for a screening test.

The best thing you can do is to contact your doctor if you are experiencing any unusual symptoms.

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