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The BBC's Emma Howard
"This intensely private rock star is now thought to be recovering in Italy"
 real 56k

Monday, 9 July, 2001, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
Harrison 'fine' after cancer treatment
George Harrison with his wife, Olivia
George Harrison with his wife, Olivia
Former Beatle George Harrison has said he is "feeling fine" after successfully undergoing cancer treatment at a Swiss clinic.

The musician was treated for a brain tumour at a hospital in the south of the country, according to Swiss press reports.

Harrison, whose life was threatened when he was stabbed by an intruder in 1999, has had two previous known cancer scares.

George Harrison and John Lennon
Harrison (left) enjoyed huge success with The Beatles
Swiss cancer specialist Franco Cavalli did not deny he had treated Harrison at the San Giovanni hospital in Bellinzona, but declined to give details, Sonntagszeitung newspaper said.

Harrison, 58, underwent radiotherapy in May and June, according to the paper.

It was revealed in May that the star had surgery for lung cancer in the United States.

He was said to have made an "excellent recovery" at the time.

The operation in Rochester, Minnesota, had been completely successful, a statement said.

The star was also treated for throat cancer in Britain in 1997 after he found a lump on his neck, which he described at the time as "a warning".

'Smoking'

He had surgery in August that year, followed by two courses of radiation therapy at the Royal Marsden Hospital near London, the UK's leading cancer treatment centre.

He later said: "I got it purely from smoking. I gave up cigarettes many years ago, but had started again for a while and then stopped in 1997.

"Luckily for me they found that this nodule was more of a warning than anything else."

George Harrison in the 1970s
Some fans say Harrison is overlooked as a songwriter
The guitarist and songwriter was almost killed in December 1999 after being stabbed 10 times by an intruder at his home, resulting in treatment for a punctured lung.

The assailant, Michael Abram, was detained indefinitely at a secure hospital after a jury decided he was insane.

The former Beatle made a full recovery from the attack and gave evidence to Oxford Crown Court saying: "I believed I had been fatally stabbed."

Speaking earlier this year, Harrison said: "I had a little throat cancer. I had a piece of my lung removed in 1997. And then I was almost murdered.

"But I seem to feel stronger. I don't smoke any more. I'm a little more short of breath than I used to be, so I don't see myself on stage lasting a full 14 rounds."

In 1998, the News of the World newspaper quoted Harrison as saying his first brush with the disease made him think about how tenuous life could be. He compared it to "a raindrop on a lotus leaf".

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See also:

03 May 01 | Entertainment
Ex-Beatle Harrison treated for cancer
30 Dec 99 | UK
The Beatles' separate paths
20 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Harrison guitar left gently weeping
16 Nov 00 | UK
Beatle's attacker 'insane'
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