Ronnie Wood: Beating lung cancer like being given 'get out of jail free card'

Julia Hunt
Ronnie Wood attends the Prince's Trust And TK Maxx & Homesense Awards at London Palladium on March 11, 2020 (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Rolling Stones rocker Ronnie Wood has said beating lung cancer was like being given a “get out of jail free card”.

The guitarist, 72, survived the illness in 2017.

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Opening up about it in new documentary Somebody Up There Likes Me, Wood said he was diagnosed with the illness after smoking “25 to 30 a day at least for 50-odd years”.

Ronnie Wood performing on stage in 1972. Michael Putland/Getty Images)

“I got away with having it cut out of one lung, the cancer,” he says in a preview of the programme.

“Luckily it had just stayed there.

“They said, ‘We got rid of that and while we there we got rid of the emphysema on the top lobe of your lung.’

“I went, ‘Oh great’, and they went, ‘Your lungs now are like you’d never smoked’ and I went, ‘How is that for a get out of jail free card?’”

“Somebody up there likes me, somebody down here likes me too,” added the rocker.

Ronnie Wood and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones perform during the group's concert at the Rose Bowl in 2019 in Pasadena (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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Wood, who no longer smokes, also opened up about the ageing process in the documentary.

He admitted that he has “never got past 29” in his head.

“So to be 70 is just so weird,” said the father-of-six.

“It is so... it is like being in a Dali painting, it’s very surreal to be 70.

“I didn’t expect time to so go quickly.

“You feel almost cheated really, about time going by.”