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Poison Drummer Rikki Rockett Reveals He Has Oral Cancer

His doctors are treating the tumor very aggressively.

Rikki Rockett, the drummer of glam rock band Poison, revealed on Monday that he is being treated with radiation and chemotherapy for oral cancer. 

The 54-year-old rocker spoke about his cancer battle with SiriusXM host Eddie Trunk, explaining that a doctor at the University of Southern California found a tumor under his tongue over the summer. By that point, the cancer had also spread to two adjacent lymph nodes.

"I went down to USC, to all the doctors down there, and the first doctor I went to sat me down, looked me in the eyes, and he said, 'You've had pretty good health all your life,'" Rockett said, according to a transcript of the interview by Blabbermouth.net.

"He goes, 'You picked one of hell of a cancer to get.' He said, 'It is very treatable, it's very curable, but it is a son of a bitch to treat, and I'm gonna hurt you,'" he continued. "And it scared the hell out of me." 

Rockett's treatment so far has lived up to the doctor's hype. He received nine rounds of chemotherapy and seven weeks of radiation. The chemotherapy gave him a rash for two weeks -- a relatively mild reaction -- but Rockett described the radiation as brutal. 

"It was five days a week for seven weeks, and that kicks your dick into the dirt," he said. 

According to the American Cancer Society, about 40,000 Americans were diagnosed with oral cancer in 2015. Men above the age of 50, like Rockett, are among the groups with the highest risk. 

Rockett, who was born Richard Allan Ream, said that he is set to receive a PET scan in February that will determine how well his aggressive course of treatment is working.

In the early 1980s, Rockett and his childhood friend Bret Michaels teamed up with guitarist Matt Smith and bassist Bobby Dall to form Poison in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.  The band -- often considered the quintessential glam rock band of the 80's -- has since sold a reported 45 million records worldwide.

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