Tony Iommi Issues Cancer Update

Black Sabbath guitarist talks treatment and touring.

Ultimate Guitar

Tony Iommi has issued an update on his cancer treatment in an interview with the Birmingham Mail, Hennemusic reports. The guitarist has been going to the Parkway Hospital in Solihull, and has to return home from tour on a regular basis in order to receive treatment:

"I have to have an antibody administered by drip every six weeks or so to keep the lymphoma in check," he says. "It sort of coats the cancer cells, stops it from going anywhere else. I have to come back home no matter where I might be in the world. The tour dates are arranged so that I can always get back for treatment. It's the only way I can manage my illness and keep on the road. I'd love to play more shows than we're doing but my health has to be sorted out first."

"The infusions I have are part of the chemotherapy regime," Iommi continued. "It's relatively new treatment and they don't know what all the side-effects might be yet, but I wanted to try it. After each session I feel sick and tired, and that lasts for a week or so. I'm finding that it takes around 10 days to fully recover from each round of treatment, but if that's what it takes, I have to accept it.

"In myself I'm feeling OK now," sums up the guitar legend. When I first found that I had the illness, it was a dark time and I was a bit spaced out. Since we've been in rehearsals and recording sessions, I've felt pretty good great even. I think that the album and tour have given me something immediate to get my teeth into, something to accomplish."

31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    F*cking spot on Tony. Cancer is a bitch, and I'm sure the fans (In my personal oppinion) don't really care if the tour is limited, the fact that he's making the effort to carry on playing while doing treatment is apreciated beyond words. So stoked to be Seeing Sabbath in Auckland this weekend!
    What idiot downvoted this?
    I think they read the word Fucking and then Tony, neglecting to read the rest. That is the only way that anyone could possibly downvote this.
    keep up the good fight Tony, staying active certainly helps. I know where cancer can take a person.
    I'm really happy that they have managed to put it around the touring as well. Doctors obviously know that Black Sabbath needs to continue as much as everyone else does.
    A new treatment, developed specially for him to help Sabbath tour and record.
    Tony, from your fans - The fact that you are going out on the road AT ALL with cancer speaks volumes as to who you are. Even if, by some horrible chance, you have to cancel the tour due to health, we understand. Godspeed Tony.
    That's really inspiring. Shows just how dedicated he is to his craft and his fans...I know you're not gonna read this, but I have a ton of respect for you, Tony. We're all keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.
    Incredible props for even attempting a tour while going through cancer treatment. On the other hand, maybe playing shows will keep his spirits up, certainly an important part of this treatment.
    Cancer sucks. Glad Mr Iommi is kicking it's arse. Ordered my ticket on Sunday. Roll on December
    Josh Reubenking
    Now that takes some balls. Touring even with an illness. This guy is a true legend. Great to know he's pulling through and doing well. He's truly dedicated to what he does and to his fans and the music. \m/
    Great man.He's hiving all he can with that ****ing illness.I hope he gets well.Here in Argentina Sabbath will play with Megadeth so i'm super-excited
    To the guy who inspired me to be a guitar player back in '74. What a role model! Go get 'em Tony!
    What a legend. I lost two family members to lymphoma, fantastic to see he's pulling through.
    I think if the dude started smoking bud every now and then he'd be rid of the cancer. Marijuana is very effective against cancer and thats even been released by the NIH