Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath has issued a thankful and optimistic statement regarding his recent lymphoma diagnosis via his official website. Earlier this week the guitar legend revealed the news through a band-issued press release, prompting an outpouring of support and concern from fans and peers alike.

Lymphoma is a cancer attacking the network of lymph nodes connected by blood vessels that drain waste products and strain cancerous cells from the body, according to WebMD. Iommi states he's "overwhelmed" by the encouragement he's received from around the world, and eager to get on with his treatment.

He also mentions looking forward to getting back to work on the first Black Sabbath album to feature all four original members (Ozzy Osbourne, Iommi, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler) since 1978's 'Never Say Die.' His bandmates will join him in the UK to facilitate this work.

It does seem as though this news will quite possibly affect the band's massive tour plans, which are currently set to begin May 18 in Moscow. Reports surfaced recently suggesting the band pulled out of a planned headlining appearance at this spring's Coachella festival in Indio, Calif. There has been no official word on any tour plan changes from the band as of yet.

Here is Iommi's statement in full:

My fans, friends & colleagues -

I just want to say how overwhelmed I am with all your messages of support, thank you so much.

Well it's not what I wanted for Christmas, that's for sure, but now I can't wait for the test results to come in and get going with the treatment.

It's really good that the guys are coming over so that we can continue working on the album as things are going great in the studio.

Well, not much else to say at this time, so thanks again.

Bless you all,


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