JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD On His Cancer Battle: 'I'm Still In Remission'

February 5, 2022

JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford says that his cancer is still in remission, two years after he was first diagnosed with the disease.

On World Cancer Day, which is observed every year across the globe on February 4 to raise awareness about the deadly disease and its symptoms, the 70-year-old singer took to his Instagram to write: "world cancer day..guys be preemptive get your blood work done regularly..my latest tests reveal I'm still in remission amen #heavymetal #ink #fuck #cancer #prostate #earlybird #good #health #staysafe #love #family #friends #fans #one #world #peace #respect #all".

Last year, Halford went public with his battle with the cancer of the prostate, a walnut-sized gland that is part of the male reproductive system. In an interview with Spain's Mariskal Rock, he said: "It's in remission. I count my blessings — thanks to God. It was a time when… You know, timing is everything in rock and roll and heavy metal. And, of course, this was going on during the pandemic — the initial stages of the pandemic — so the world was completely closed down. PRIEST would have been on a bit of a hiatus anyway, because we had just been around the world three times with [PRIEST's latest album] 'Firepower', so we were gonna be on a kind of a break although we were writing for the new album. And so I was able to take care of three things, really — promote [my autobiography] 'Confess', do some writing with the band before I came back [home] to Phoenix, and then get this cancer business sorted out."

Rob, who previously mentioned his cancer battle in the new chapter added to the updated paperback edition of "Confess", continued: "It's just a miracle what they can do with health care these days; it's absolutely remarkable. So in my story, my main message is to guys everywhere around the world, when you get to a certain age, it's very important that you get your prostate checked, your bloodwork checked, get a colonoscopy. It's all these things that old blokes like me go, 'Wait, wait, wait.' That's the worst thing to do. So that was part of the reason I wanted to push the message out. And the fact that it's been out for a while anyway — it's been out since September [2021] in the final edition of the 'Confess' paperback — so it was gonna surface anyway."

In "Confess", Halford revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer after experiencing symptoms for at least a couple of years.

"I felt a combination of shock, horror, and oddly, relief — at least now I know!…'Am I going to die?'" he wrote. " It was all I could think of. I know blokes who've died of prostate cancer. 'No, you're not going to die, Rob,' said Dr. Ali."

In July 2020, Rob underwent prostatectomy, an operation where the entire prostate gland is removed plus some of the tissue around it, including the seminal vesicles. After more cancer was found early last year, he went through radiation treatments in April and May 2021 and eventually got then all-clear in June 2021. He also had an appendectomy after a tumor was discovered on his appendix.

"It's been a draining year, I can't deny it, but I'm delighted to have come through it," Halford wrote in the book. "I feel like I've had the most thorough MOT that a Metal God can have."

Rob said that his outlook on his cancer battle changed after watching a commercial for the Phoenix Children's hospital. "It showed kids with cancer," he said. "Some only babies. They were lying there, with tubes coming out of them, fighting for their lives. They didn't know what was going on…It made me feel totally ashamed of myself; Rob, how dare you be so selfish? And from that second, I change my entire mental attitude towards my disease."

"Confess" was released in September 2020 via Hachette Books. It was written with Ian Gittins, co-writer of "The Heroin Diaries" by Nikki Sixx.

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