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Tony Iommi Doesn’t Expect His Cancer to Go Away

Tony Iommi
Paul Kane, Getty Images

There’s a very strong possibility that Tony Iommi might never fully recover from the lymphoma with which he was diagnosed three years ago. In a new interview, the Black Sabbath guitarist opened up about his chances and discussed how living with cancer has changed his life.

“The surgeon told me he doesn’t expect the cancer to go away,” he told the Mirror. “There’s a 30 percent chance that it could, but more than likely it will come back and it could be any time.”

Iommi’s diagnosis came just as the band was starting work on ’13,’ the first Black Sabbath album with Ozzy Osbourne since 1979. What appeared to be a routine problem with his prostate soon uncovered the disease. Plans to record the album were put on hold while Iommi underwent treatment, which involved six rounds of chemotherapy spaced three weeks apart.

The recording sessions for the album, and the subsequent tour that took them to 28 countries, had to be scheduled around even more treatment, which involved being “hooked up to a drip and given an antibody that sort of coats the cancer cells and stops them spreading” followed by a few more weeks of recovery. Iommi concluded the antibody treatment this past summer.

As a result, Iommi has been forced to change many aspects of his lifestyle. He’s eating healthier now, and he goes to bed early because he doesn’t have the energy to stay out late anymore.

“Thankfully red wine is still on the menu, though,” he continued. “I’m determined to hold on to as many of those little pleasures as possible.”

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