Former W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes was diagnosed with cancer of the throat and neck, his wife and manager confirmed.

As a result he canceled a planned appearance on the Monsters of Rock Cruise starting on Feb. 9, but hoped to be back in action in time for a Canadian tour set for May.

"Recently Chris was diagnosed with a cancer in throat and neck," Cathy-Sarah Holmes wrote on Instagram, "but the medical team have assured us there has been no metastasis and this is a good news. He will have to start as soon as possible a treatment of seven weeks. I know how important the Monsters of Rock Cruise is for Chris and the band but the health of Chris is what we have to focus on right now." She added: "The best way to keep Chris positive is to continue to focus on the upcoming Canadian tour, shows we have in September and the U.K. tour in October. Don’t forget Chris is strong and he is a fighter and he will come back stronger than before." She thanked fans for their continued support while requesting privacy over the coming weeks, concluding: "Chris will come back to you stronger and ready to burn the stage."

Responding to the announcement, W.A.S.P. leader Blackie Lawless issued his own statement, saying: "The entire W.A.S.P. family are all optimistic of a positive outcome concerning the diagnosis for Chris. I certainly wish him the very best."

Holmes was a member of the band from 1982 to 1990 then again from 1996 to 2001. The acrimony between him and Lawless became iconic; last year he told Classic Rock that the only reason he’d rejoined was because "it was a way for me to get out and see the world again." He added: "I was also told a lot of things I hated about the band had changed, and that Blackie was easier to get along with. That was all crap. Nothing had altered."

Last year he was the subject of documentary movie Chris Holmes: Mean Man. A trailer can be seen below:

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