The news came via a message from Hunting – complete with new candid photo – shared on the Instagram page of bandmate Gary Holt, who had previously helped Hunting set up his GoFundMe fundraising campaign.
“The treatment is working,” Hunting wrote. “I’ve had four now and the mass has shrunk to less than half the size it was in March. That’s amazing progress! I’ve added the weight back I lost at the start of this.”
Hunting revealed that will undergo a full gastrectomy – which means the removal of his stomach – on July 12, which will be followed up by four more rounds of treatment. “Unfortunately it’ll be a full gastrectomy, but the good news is I’ll get to live which is definitely NOT overated [sic],” he wrote.
In February, the thrash metal veteran was diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma, a gastric tumour in his upper stomach. Hunting issued a statement via the band’s Facebook page in April.
“I’m making this public to raise awareness for people to pay attention to symptoms of stomach and esophageal issues,” he wrote in a statement via the band’s Facebook page in April. “If they persist, please go get it checked out. I’m not gonna be sheepish talking about it.”
Holt then proceeded to set up the fundraising campaign for his bandmate, raising close to double its initial US$50,000 goal.
A benefit auction has also been organised for Hunting. Up for bidding are signed items and memorabilia contributed by bands Machine Head, Stone Sour, Testament, Death Angel, and Foghat, along with musicians Mike Portnoy and Jason Bittner.
Hunting co-founded Exodus in 1979. The California band are set to release their 11th studio album ‘Persona Non Grata’ in November. The album was supposed to be released in June, but was delayed to allow Hunting proper time for recovery before the band tours, as Blabbermouth reported.
“I know a lot of you guys have said, ‘Oh, it was supposed to be out and released this summer,’ and it was — it was gonna be released this summer,” Exodus vocalist Steve “Zetro” Sousa said.
“But this has kind of put a damper in things a little bit. So, the decision from the band and the decision from management and the label and everybody — I mean, it makes sense.”