But as Peters tells Jonathan Clarke on Q104.3 New York's "Out of the Box," he's just happy to still be around.
In 1995, Peters was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Then in 2006, he was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocyte Leukemia.
The camo jacket came into the picture after the second diagnosis. A faith healer told Peters that green was a powerful color for him and the songwriter opted to use his mind as his main weapon against the disease.
"I read a chapter about a girl who had a tumor, and she created a Pac-Man game in her mind and it ate the tumor away and went into spontaneous remission," he says. "I thought, 'I need a defense mechanism like that.'"
So, with a nod to John Lennon's activism and the advise of his faith healer, Peters began wearing a green camo jacket everywhere he went.
"I came up with the psychological combat zone, bought my combat jacket in Hartford, Connecticut, and went to war with [cancer]. I told [my wife] Jules it's not coming off till I'm cured."
For someone afflicted with leukemia, Peters keeps himself awfully busy. He's on tour with The Alarm (and his family) this summer, including two stints on the Vans Warped Tour.
"You don't want to let anything go," he says of his schedule. "You want to make the most of every opportunity. It always comes back to the music; there's a line in 'Rain in the Summertime': 'I wish I could run fast enough to leave all the pain and the sadness behind.' It's always been there in the music...These are the things that have always kept pushing me forward, staying alive."
And as Peters says, he's not just on tour this summer to play music, he's also trying to make an impact in another way with his Love Hope Strength Foundation, which has a booth at every concert he plays (and many he doesn't), swabbing cheeks and making matches for bone marrow transplants.
Check out the interview above with Peters' solo performance of the song, "Strength."
Check out the trailer for Man in the Camo Jacket below: