Black Sabbath guitar icon Tommy is receiving treatment after lymphoma is diagnosed early – as bandmates vow he’ll beat disease

Tony Iommi

Iron man: Tony Iommi

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with cancer, his bandmates have confirmed.

He’s receiving treatment after doctors identified lymphoma, an infection of the cells which form part of the human immune system.

The news comes months after Sabbath announced a reunion of their original lineup, and 19 months after former singer Ronnie James Dio died of stomach cancer.

In a statement the band say: “With the news that Tony has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, his bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time.

“Iommi is currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan. The Iron Man of rock and roll remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery.”

Singer Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward and Iommi announced they were working on a new album with producer Rick Rubin late last year. It’s due for release this autumn.

No comment has been made on how Iommi’s condition might affect the band’s touring plans.

On his website the guitarist, 63, recently thanked fans for their support during 2011, saying: “It was a big year for me with my book coming out and getting back together with the guys. A new album and live shows means there’s a lot for me to look forward to in 2012.

“I hope the new year brings you opportunities as well.”

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