The most tragic thing about Ronnie James Dio’s death from metastasized stomach cancer in 2010 is that it likely could have been prevented. Dio, the man who’s commanding voice will live forever in metal history, was 67 when he died and he had not been tested for stomach or colorectal cancer in at least 10 years. The American Cancer Foundation recommends men and women over the age of 50 at average risk for developing colorectal cancer receive a colonoscopy every 10 years to detect and prevent the spread of colon cancer.
“All the doctors said if he'd have gone in [for a colonoscopy] a year earlier or two years earlier, they could have treated him,” said Dio’s Heaven and Hell and Black Sabbath bandmate, bassist Geezer Butler for Louder Than Hell: the Definitive Oral History of Metal. “If it had been stage one they could have dealt with it. 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. 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.”