Black Sabbath Star Tony Iommi: Cancer Won’t Slow Me Down

Heavy metal rock legend Tony Iommi has opened up to the Mirror about his battle with cancer, and the Black Sabbath star insists that his illness will not stop him rocking. Tony had just started to work on a new album with Black Sabbath bandmates Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler, when he found out he had the blood cancer lymphoma back in January 2012.

Tony told the Mirror that he found a lump in his groin whilst he was in New York City promoting his book. Initially, Tony thought that his problem was a recurrence of prostate trouble but Ozzy advised him to get it checked out. On his return to the UK, Tony had a painless operation to reduce the size of his prostate and was given the shock news that he had cancer during a post-operative visit with his surgeon.

Tony said the surgeon told him, “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.”

Tony admits that he initially thought the diagnosis was a death sentence.

Loudwire reports that despite undergoing grueling treatment to combat the illness, Tony was still able to keep working, recording Black Sabbath’s stellar album 13 and then touring in support of the album.

Tony admits that it was no easy task, saying, “After we released the album we went on tour and played 81 shows in 28 countries. I really enjoyed it, but it was tough. After the illness I got really tired. Every six weeks I had to fly home for treatment… Then I had to be home for two or three weeks recovering before I could join up with the band again. We had to plan the whole tour around my treatment.”

Tony Iommi Black Sabbath

Whilst his battle with the illness continues, Tony Iommi admits there is still a tough road ahead, and he has no idea what the future holds. There is a likelihood that the cancer could return, and Tony says it could happen at any time.

He says, “I look at life differently now. I could be here another 10 years or just one year – I don’t know.”

“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,” he reveals. “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.”

Tommi added, “Sometimes I wonder if I should try to live a more peaceful life. Then I think, ‘I don’t want to let the illness take over’. After all, I enjoy where I’m at now.”

Despite his struggles, Tony Iommi remains optimistic. There are even plans to record another album with Black Sabbath, though Ozzy has said it is likely to be the last. Hopefully Tony Iommi will be well enough to record that album and be around for many years to come.

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