Heaven And Hell bassist Geezer Butler says that heavy metal icon Ronnie James Dio did not have to die.

Speaking to Noisecreep, Butler reveals that if Dio would have sought treatment sooner, he may have lived.

"All the doctors said if he'd have gone in [for a checkup] a year earlier or two years earlier, they could have treated him," Butler said.  "But by the time Ronnie was diagnosed, he had stage four cancer, which was inoperable.  The doctor hinted that it was just a matter of time and there was nothing they could do."

To make matters worse, the band was aware of the health risks and took preventative measures.  Guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Vinny Appice underwent routine colonoscopies to check for signs of colon and intestinal cancer.  However, Dio did not take part in the check-ups, which took place a year before he was diagnosed with stomach cancer.

"Vinny had just had it done and he couldn't sit down on his drum stool, and I was making arrangements to have it done, and Ronnie was going, 'Oh, I'm never going to have anything like that,'" Butler said. "If he'd have gone in at the same time as everyone else, they'd have caught it before the tour. If he had regular check ups ..."

"All the doctors said if it had been stage one, they could have dealt with it. It's really upsetting to think about that, and hopefully it will encourage people who need to have a check up to get it done."

Ronnie James Dio died last May from stage-four stomach cancer at the age of 67.  This story makes it more tragic because he could have lived longer.  I know I will be more proactive on my health and see the doctor more.  What do you think?  Sign up and comment below.

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