Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Black Sabbath guitarist issues cancer update

Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi is sharing an update on his ongoing cancer battle.

The guitarist recorded Black Sabbath’s 2013 album, “13”, and completed a world tour with the band while undergoing medical treatment since being diagnosed with blood cancer lymphoma in January of 2012.

“When the doctors told me I had cancer I thought, ‘That’s it then’,” Iommi tells The Mirror. “Cancer was death as far as I was concerned. I found a painful lump in my groin while I was in New York promoting my book. I thought it was my prostate acting up again, but Ozzy told me I should get it checked out. I came back to England and had an operation to reduce my prostate. It was painless but afterwards I needed a catheter.”

“When that came out I went to see the surgeon. He said: ‘Good news on the prostate. It’s been cut down to a sensible size and everything is good there. But on the lump we took out, we found follicular lymphoma.’ It’s a type of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”

The treatments have been physically and emotionally draining for the guitarist.

“I finally finished my antibody treatment over the summer,” explains Iommi. “It’s good in a way because I have more energy now, but I still don’t know whether the treatment worked. Because I had two different operations at the same time, one on my prostate and one on my lymph nodes, I had too many scans last year and too much radiation. So I can’t have any more scans yet."

“Every day I feel around for lumps and bumps. Every time I get a pain in my stomach I think, ‘Oh God, it’s cancer’. It’s horrible. I even dream about it. But that’s my life now."

Iommi was given an update from doctors, saying “The surgeon told me he doesn’t expect the cancer to go away. There’s a 30 per cent chance that it could, but more than likely it will come back and it could be any time.”

“I look at life differently now. I could be here another ten years or just one year – I don’t know.”

Iommi and Black Sabbath are expected to regroup this year to write and record a final album and perform a farewell tour.

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