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Poison’s Rikki Rockett Is Battling Oral Cancer

Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Poison‘s Rikki Rockett has completed multiple rounds of treatment in a battle against tongue cancer. He now has to undergo an evaluation early next year to determine if he’s free of the disease.

“Where I’m at now is, I went last week for my follow-up,” Rockett told Eddie Trunk on his radio show (via Blabbermouth). “Both doctors said I’m doing excellent, and they both have excellent prognosis. In early February, I get my PET scan, and that’s the end-all. That tells you if there’s any activity. They both said they suspect that there won’t be, and so I’ve got fingers crossed.”

Rockett said a tumor was found at the base of his tongue. The drummer compared his health issue to that of Iron Maiden‘s Bruce Dickinson, whose cancer was also caused by the human papilloma virus.

Rockett’s intensive cancer protocol this past summer involved nine rounds of chemotherapy and 35 rounds of radiation. He would follow up each day of treatment with another day of therapy, where he worked on speech and swallowing. He has had to cease most physical activity, including his beloved jiu-jitsu, and he said he’s still on a liquid diet.

“But I’m just gonna try to put that out of my mind for now and just continue to get better and feel better,” Rockett added. “There’s nothing that looks like it’s there anymore. They’ve gone down, they’ve looked at my throat – but it’s swelled up and it’s hard to tell. But it looks like it’s in remission.”

Rockett released an album in September with Devil City Angels, a band that also includes Tracii Guns and Cinderella‘s Eric Brittingham. Poison’s last major appearance was the 2013 Indy 500 Miller Lite Carb Day, though there’s been some speculation about a possible Las Vegas residency sometime in the future.

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