BLACK SABBATH's TONY IOMMI offers update on his health
During an appearance on last Thursday’s (June 22) episode of SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”, legendary BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi offered an update on his health. The 75-year-old musician, who was diagnosed with early-stage lymphoma more than a decade ago, stated: “I’m up and down. I go for my checks. In fact, I was there the day before yesterday, just getting different checks again. It’s like any old person (laughs) — you have problems. But, no, all in all, it’s been pretty good. Certainly as far as the cancer side of it, it’s been — dare I say — good. I get other ailments, like your hands ache and feet and things like that. But apart from that, it’s good. And I think doing what I’m doing keeps me up. I don’t sit at home just sitting on the couch; I’m out and about doing stuff. And it’s good — it keeps you motivated; it keeps you moving.”
Regarding where his cancer battle stands at the moment, Tony said: “Well, they keep it under control. They check the immune system all the time to make sure you keep it up. I have (vitamin) B12 shots and just try and eat a bit better and try and look after your health a bit more. That’s why, really, I had to stop these major tours, because they were long tours and late-night tours. By the time you’d finished playing, especially when we were in the States, and we’d have a base, say, in New York, for 10 days, and we’d have our own plane and fly out to different places and come back. And by the time we get back to the hotel, it’s three o’clock in the morning. And these late nights were affecting me a bit. And my oncologist said, ‘You know, you shouldn’t really be flying as much and doing this amount of work.’ So that’s sort of why it came to the end of me touring for 18 months. But, yeah, I loved it — I love touring; I love playing; I love seeing the audience. And I still wanna get out and play, but I won’t be able to do major tours like that. As I said before, maybe a week or two or whatever, but it’s hard to do that, because you’ve got the crews that work — you have top-notch crews, and you can’t expect them to just do two weeks. They wanna get out and do a U.S. tour. But I will be going out, I suppose, doing something along the line. I’ve been asked to do various things, and we’ll see what happens.”
In February 2017, SABBATH finished “The End” tour in Birmingham, closing out the quartet’s groundbreaking 49-year career.
“The End” was SABBATH‘s last tour because Iommi — who was diagnosed with lymphoma in late 2011 — can no longer travel for extended amounts of time.
Iommi revealed his cancer diagnosis in early 2012, shortly after SABBATH announced a reunion tour and album. He underwent treatment throughout the recording of the disc, titled “13”, and the subsequent tour to promote it.
The BLACK SABBATH guitarist successfully underwent an operation in January 2017 to remove a noncancerous lump from his throat.
“13” was the first album in 35 years to feature Iommi, singer Ozzy Osbourne and bassist Geezer Butler all playing together.
Iommi previously spoke about his battle with lymphoma in a 2013 interview with Guitar World magazine. At the time, he said: “The (cancer) diagnosis came when I was doing my book tour (in 2011) before we started rehearsal. On the book tour, I saw a doctor because this lump appeared in my groin. We thought it was just a swollen gland, so he gave me antibiotics. After the book tour, I was going to L.A to start rehearsals. He said if it wasn’t gone in two weeks when I got there, I should see another doctor. So I did, because it was still there. He gave me more antibiotics, because I had developed an infection from this other problem I had with my prostate. It was too big and had to be cut down. So I thought the other lump was part of that. But it never went away. So we were rehearsing and writing, and I kept feeling this pain down in my groin. And Ozzy kept saying, ‘You don’t look really well.’ And I’d say, ‘Well, I don’t feel too good.’ He also told me to go get it checked out. I was going back to England to have the prostate operation, so I decided just to wait until then. They said they’d take out that other lump while they were in there. I thought nothing of it at all, but they found out it was cancer.”
He continued: (After they told me I had cancer) my whole life changed. And they’re so casual about it! They say, ‘The good news is that your prostate is really good. But the lump, we found lymphoma in it.’ Lymphoma, what’s that? Well, I knew what it was, but I wanted to hear them say it: cancer. Once I heard that, it was awful. I thought, God, of all the times.”