STRYPER guitarist Oz Fox will likely have to undergo several medical procedures to shrink the tumors that were discovered after his onstage seizure more than a year ago.
According to Oz's wife, Annie Lobért, the tumor behind the ear has grown from 2.2 by 1.7 centimeters on August 12, 2018 to 2.7 by 1.7 centimeters on July 23, 2019. Fox's doctor has recommended radiation as soon as possible because if the tumor grows to three centimeters, it will be no longer able to be treated with radiation. If the tumor grows beyond three centimeters, an operation to remove it will cause facial palsy (part of Oz's face will appear to droop) and it will be a tough and risky surgery to recover from. The radiation side effects will give Oz permanent hearing loss completely in one ear and possibly facial palsy. There is also a tiny risk the tumor will grow from radiation. But if the tumor isn't dealt with, it will continue to grow and cause hearing loss, balance, vision and spinal problems.
As for the tumor in the back of Oz's brain, it has grown from 27.77 millimeters by 30.53 millimeters on August 12, 2018 to 35.1 by 33.8 millimeters on July 23, 2019. That tumor is in the area where left side of his arms, hands and body operate. The risk to remove it will affect the upper left motor function and potential ability to recognize faces, objects. This tumor cannot be treated by radiation alone, like the first one. Oz will first undergo a biopsy to find out what kind of tumor it is. If surgery looks like the only option, Oz will then undergo a combination of chemotherapy and radiation to stop the growth.
Fox shared Lobért's update on his medical status in a Facebook post on Friday (August 23). In an accompanying message, he wrote: "First of all, I would like to say thank you for all of the prayers and continued support. I couldn't think of having this journey without all of you in my life.
"Today the report from the doctor was a little less than I expected. But whatever! I truly, truly believe that God has a plan for all of this. He has come through for me so many times in my life.
"I'm not going to worry about this at all. But I have to face facts. I'm not getting any younger. I have to start thinking about what to do with my time and better manage it.
"My wife, close family and close friends know me to be a chill person. So, really, I'm chilling out about all the stupid stuff. The STRYPER band and staff is being very supportive. They have been so awesome through all this! I love them dearly! Same goes for my boys from SIN CITY SINNERS and HART ATTACK. And a big shout-out to all my new Las Vegas family who are always encouraging me and are always concerned for my well-being. Of course to all of you around the world offering your prayers and positive words, thank you.
"I will be in South America soon and other dates in the U.S. will be coming up. I'm looking forward to seeing all the awesome fans! After that, one day at a time."
Fox suffered a seizure on August 11, 2018 while performing with SIN CITY SINNERS at Harrah's in Las Vegas. STRYPER subsequently toured Australia and Japan as a three-piece, and later recruited Howie Simon (JEFF SCOTT SOTO, GRAHAM BONNET) to fill in while Fox was unable to go on the road.
Formed 36 years ago, STRYPER is the first overtly Christian metal band to go mainstream. The group's name comes from Isaiah 53:5, which states: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
STRYPER's albums include "To Hell With The Devil", "Second Coming", "No More Hell To Pay", "Fallen" and the band's latest effort, "God Damn Evil".