09 August 2016
Black Sabbath guitar hero Tony Iommi’s cancer is finally in remission, the Brummie rock legend has revealed.
But he will have to have blood tests every six weeks for the rest of his life to check for any sign of the stage three lymphoma’s return.
The 68-year-old star confirmed the news as he unveiled a plaque at the hospital where medics have been treating his illness.
The Spire Specialist Care Centre – a new, purpose-built £1.3 million facility in the grounds of Solihull’s Spire Parkway Hospital – has been awarded the The Macmillan Quality Environment Mark for its care of cancer patients.
And Tony, on a break from Sabbath’s farewell tour, was delighted to officially unveil the award.
“When you have an illness such as cancer, it is important that the inevitable anxiety associated with a hospital visit is eased,” he said.
“The new centre, which is separated from the hospital, offers a warm and welcoming environment.
“All the staff are friendly and helpful. You can talk to them about any concerns you may have, about your treatment or just about life in general, which is sometimes exactly what you need.
"I can’t thank them enough for what they have done for me, and others like me.”
After confirmation yesterday that his own lymphoma is in remission, Tony knows that it is important to keep a check on it.
“I came back to hospital straight after we finished a round of European tour dates, and the good news is that everything is alright up to this point,” he said.
“I am in remission and hopefully, this situation will continue.
“The chemotherapy and the follow-up treatment appear to have done the trick – but I’m aware that it could come back one day.
“I have a blood test every six weeks at my GP’s, and I come in here at regular intervals for check-ups. That’s something that I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life, looking for any warning signs that it might be rearing its ugly head again.
“But the availability of a facility like the Specialist Care Centre makes it so much easier. They’re all lovely here!”
Macmillan Cancer Services Manager Elisa Follen said: “It was a real boost to get the award, and for Tony to come and hand it over was the icing on the cake. He is very well liked by everyone here who met him during his treatment and is a great friend of the hospital.
“We have a fantastic team with in-depth specialist knowledge along with some experienced and very well respected consultants. The cancer journey is a tough and emotional one for everyone involved – including family and friends – but I think we have what we need to make that journey as comfortable and successful as possible.”