Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford has revealed that he’s been treated for cancer and is now in remission. According to the Metal God, he was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer during the spring of 2020, and once again earlier this year.
The revelation came up during an interview with Heavy Consequence in which he stated, “I had my little cancer battle a year ago, which I got through and that’s in remission now, thank God. That happened while we were all locked down, so things happen for a reason as far as time sequence of events. I have nothing but gratitude to be at this point in my life, still doing what I love the most.”
Halford has also reportedly addressed the matter in a new chapter added to the recently updated paperback edition of his Confess memoir. The singer said that the diagnosis came after extensive testing and symptoms that first appeared in 2017.
“I felt a combination of shock, horror, and oddly, relief — at least now I know!…’Am I going to die?’ 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,” he wrote.
The singer underwent prostatectomy surgery in July of 2020 to remove the cancer rather than radiation therapy. After undergoing the surgery, more cancer was discovered earlier this year and Halford states that he went through radiation treatments in April and May, getting an all-clear from doctors in June. Halford also revealed that over the past year he 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 writes. “I feel like I’ve had the most thorough MOT that a Metal God can have.”
In the new chapter, he also adds, “I was getting proper mardy and wallowing in my anger,” but things turned after watching a commercial for the Phoenix Children’s hospital. “It showed kids with cancer. 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.”
Halford says he “told hardly anyone I had cancer” while he was going through it, even having the band’s management share with the other members of the group. But now going public with it in the new chapter, he’s urging his male fanbase and readers to have their prostate checked.