Elvis Costello has revealed he is battling a very aggressive form of cancer and has cancelled his European tour.

The London-born musician, whose real name is Declan Patrick MacManus, has been advised to rest by his doctor following surgery for cancer, writes the Daily Mail.

The 63-year-old released a statement saying that while he had returned to touring he now needed further rest: "The spirit has been more than willing but I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength. Therefore, I must reluctantly cancel all the remaining engagements of this tour.

The statement read: "Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, 'You should start playing the Lotto'.

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"He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery.

"I was elated and relieved that our European summer tour could go ahead.

"Post-surgical guidelines for such surgery, recommend three weeks to four weeks recovery depending on whether you are returning to a desk job or an occupation that involves physical work or travel.

"It was impossible to judge how this advisory would line up with the demands on a traveling musician, playing 90-minute to two-hour-plus performances on a nightly basis but by the time we reached the Edinburgh Playhouse, I was almost fooled into thinking that normal service had been resumed.

"I have to thank our friends attending last night's show in Amsterdam and those in Antwerp, Glynde and at Newcastle City Hall for bearing me up. The spirit has been more than willing but I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength. Therefore, I must reluctantly cancel all the remaining engagements of this tour.

"My apologies go to our ticket holders in Manchester, Pula, Graz, Vienna, Tysnes and Rattvik but I would rather disappoint our friends there by not appearing than in pressing on with a show that is compromised and eventually puts my health at risk.'

Costello added that he had a new record planned for later in the year as he urged other men to see medical advice if they had any worrying symptoms.

"To leave you with some more optimistic news, The Imposters and I - together with several of our other friends - have made a magnificent new record of which we are truly proud. It will be issued in October, I believe. We will return at the soonest opportunity to play that music and your favourite songs that still make sense to us all.

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"Take very good care of your loved ones but gentleman, do talk to you friends - you'll find you are not alone - seek your doctor's advice if you are in doubt or when it is timely and act as swiftly as you may in these matters. It may save your life. Believe me, it is better than playing roulette."

"Yours through music. Elvis Costello"