Exodus drummer Tom Hunting has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the stomach. In a press statement, he expressed the desire to raise awareness for the condition in hopes of helping others identify potential symptoms early.
The news comes as anticipation mounts for Persona Non Grata, the title given to the band’s forthcoming album and first since 2014’s Blood In, Blood Out.
“Today I will be starting treatment for a squamous cell carcinoma. It’s a gastric tumor that was diagnosed in my upper stomach in February,” relayed Hunting.
The drummer, who co-founded Exodus in 1979, continued, “I’m making this public to raise awareness for people to pay attention to symptoms of stomach and esophageal issues. If they persist, please go get it checked out. I’m not gonna be sheepish talking about it. I feel that if I can help someone with what I’ve learned, or someone out there has information to share with me, it’s a win-win! When you can name the enemy, it’s empowering, and you’re one step closer to killing it!
In spite of the diagnosis, Hunting remained upbeat and optimistic, expressing, “Okay, you’ve heard the bad news. The good news is [I] feel great physically! I’m gonna beat this like a fucking snare drum that owes me money!!! I’ve had great doctors and a great support system that is an army in itself. I’m ready for the fight!”
In closing, he said, “We have a lot to celebrate this year with the release of what will be a career-defining album and tours to follow! I’m stoked for everyone to hear it, and even more excited to get out there and play some of it! I will see you all very soon! CHEERS!!!”
The National Center for Biotechnology Information provides the following synopsis on the condition,
The squamous cell carcinoma of the stomach is a very uncommon entity, with worldwide incidence of 0.04% to 0.07% of all gastric cancers, with fewer than 100 cases reported in the literature to date. It occurs mostly in men, and the male to female ratio is 5 to 1. It is more prevalent in the sixth decade of life, and the most common tumor location is in the upper third of the stomach, although 17-year-old patients have also been reported. The pathogenesis of this tumor remains unknown; however, the presence of squamous metaplasia and positive history of smoking is often related to cases of squamous cell carcinoma of the stomach. In addition, squamous cell carcinoma of the remnant stomach following gastrectomy is extremely rare and has been described in less than 5 reported cases. The optimal treatment strategy is controversial and the prognosis is poor. Röring, who described the first primary gastric squamous cell carcinoma case in 1895, hypothesized about basal cells in the gastric mucosa undergoing, transforming into squamous cells, and later turning into squamous cell carcinoma. Since then, not much has changed, although several theories have been proposed referred to this respect.
Loudwire wishes Tom Hunting courage and strength in the battle ahead.