The musician recently underwent a five hour operation to have a growth in part of his lung removed.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday‘s Event magazine, Wood said that the possibility of chemotherapy had been discussed but that he decided against it.
“It’s more I wasn’t going to lose my hair,” he said. “This hair wasn’t going anywhere. I said, ‘No way.’ And I just kept the faith it would be all right.”
Wood also revealed he prepared to “say goodbye” to his family after the diagnosis. “There was a week when everything hung in the balance and it could have been curtains – time to say goodbye,” he told the mag. “You never know what is going to happen.”
He revealed that he’d been surprised that he hadn’t fallen ill sooner after his life of hedonism.
“I had this thought at the back of my mind after I gave up smoking a year ago: ‘How can I have got through 50 years of chain-smoking – and all the rest of my bad habits – without something going on in there?'” the guitarist said.
“So I went along to see our good old doctor, Richard Dawood, because we [Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts] all have to be checked before we go on tour, and he asked me if I wanted him to go deeper and check my heart, lungs and blood. I said, ‘Go for it.'”
Wood told the mag that he’s fine now, and will be going for regular check-ups.
He quit smoking before his twins were born in 2016 and is now sober after being in rehab eight times, and having treatment for alcoholism.
On what bandmate Keith Richards thinks of his sobriety, Wood said: “He was more bothered I’d quit the fags… I took Champix [a nicotine inhibitor] for three weeks. That stuff is heavy duty. Makes me sick even to think of it now. I just stopped wanting the ciggies.”
Wood is expected to join the band on their ‘No Filter’ European dates in September.
The Rolling Stones’ upcoming ‘No Filter’ European tour dates are below.
9 September – Hamburg, Germany: Stadtpark
12 September – Munich, Germany: Olympic Stadium
16 September – Spielberg, Austria: Spielberg at Red Bull Ring
20 September – Zurich, Switzerland: Letzigrund Stadium
23 September – Lucca, Italy: Lucca Summer Festival-City Walls
27 September – Barcelona, Spain: Olympic Stadium
30 September – Amsterdam, Holland: Amsterdam ArenA
3 October – Copenhagen, Denmark: Parken Stadium
9 October – Dusseldorf, Germany: Esprit arena
12 October – Stockholm, Sweden: Friends Arena
15 October – Arnhem, Holland: GelreDome
19 October – Paris, France: U Arena
22 October – Paris, France: U Arena