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Tony Iommi credits hometown doctors with saving Black Sabbath tour

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Apr 18, 2013 | 8:58am EDT

Rocker Tony Iommi has credited medical staff in his hometown with putting Black Sabbath back on the road because a pioneering new cancer treatment has enabled him to join his bandmates on tour. The Paranoid hitmakers recently announced plans to tour Europe this winter (13) and guitarist Iommi has revealed the gigs were arranged around his specialist treatments at the Parkway Hospital in Birmingham, England as part of his ongoing battle with lymphoma. The innovative medical program means the 65 year old will be able to leave the U.K. and return for sessions every six weeks, and he has now publicly thanked doctors at the hospital for helping him get back on the road. He tells Britain's Birmingham Mail, "Please give all the people at Parkway a good plug. They've been so good to me. I couldn't be doing this without them. I have to have an antibody administered by drip every six weeks or so to keep the lymphoma in check. It sort of coats the cancer cells, stops it from going anywhere else. I have to come back home no matter where I might be in the world. "The tour dates are arranged so that I can always get back for treatment. It's the only way I can manage my illness and keep on the road. I'd love to play more shows than we're doing but my health has to be sorted out first. "The infusions I have are part of the chemotherapy regime. It's relatively new treatment and they don't know what all the side-effects might be yet, but I wanted to try it." He adds of the illness, "Medics say that the condition is manageable with treatment. I enjoy where I'm at now, I really do. It's a good place. I've got a good home life and a good family, great friends and support. And I'm fortunate because I'm still able to go out and play music." The musicians will return to their native city of Birmingham for two shows in December (13) and Iommi adds of the festive gigs, "There's no place quite like your hometown. No place quite like Birmingham... It'll be all our Christmasses (sic) come together."

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