Exodus drummer Tom Hunting has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a common form a skin cancer. In a press statement, he expressed the desire to raise awareness for the condition in hopes of helping others identify potential symptoms early.

The news comes as anticipation mounts for Persona Non Grata, the title given to the band's forthcoming album and first since 2014's Blood In, Blood Out.

"Today I will be starting treatment for a squamous cell carcinoma. It's a gastric tumor that was diagnosed in my upper stomach in February," relayed Hunting.

The drummer, who co-founded Exodus in 1979, continued, "I'm making this public to raise awareness for people to pay attention to symptoms of stomach and esophageal issues. If they persist, please go get it checked out. I'm not gonna be sheepish talking about it. I feel that if I can help someone with what I've learned, or someone out there has information to share with me, it's a win-win! When you can name the enemy, it's empowering, and you're one step closer to killing it!

In spite of the diagnosis, Hunting remained upbeat and optimistic, expressing, "Okay, you've heard the bad news. The good news is [I] feel great physically! I'm gonna beat this like a fucking snare drum that owes me money!!! I've had great doctors and a great support system that is an army in itself. I'm ready for the fight!"

In closing, he said, "We have a lot to celebrate this year with the release of what will be a career-defining album and tours to follow! I'm stoked for everyone to hear it, and even more excited to get out there and play some of it! I will see you all very soon! CHEERS!!!"

A synopsis of squamous cell carcinoma on the Mayo Clinic's website reads as follows:

Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is a common form of skin cancer that develops in the squamous cells that make up the middle and outer layers of the skin.

Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is usually not life-threatening, though it can be aggressive. Untreated, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin can grow large or spread to other parts of your body, causing serious complications.

Most squamous cell carcinomas of the skin result from prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, either from sunlight or from tanning beds or lamps. Avoiding UV light helps reduce your risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin and other forms of skin cancer.

Squamous cells are found in many places in your body, and squamous cell carcinoma can occur anywhere squamous cells are found. Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin refers to cancer that forms in the squamous cells found in the skin.

Loudwire wishes Tom Hunting courage and strength in the battle ahead. Learn more about squamous cell carcinoma —detection, risk factors, complications and prevention — here.