Megadeth Is 'Optimistic' About Dave Mustaine's Cancer Recovery

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

June 18, 2019

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Megadeth is optimistic that founder and front man Dave Mustaine will beat cancer.

Mustaine announced Monday that he has been diagnosed with throat cancer and just began treatment for the disease.

Now, Mustaine's fellow Megadeth co-founder and longtime bassist Dave Ellefson has confirmed that the band is hopeful its front man will put this health scare behind him.

"Other cases have shown that ... throat cancer is treatable," Ellefson told The Classic Metal Show. "It's at a place where it's certainly, I don't think, beyond a point of repair. So I think it's good, and that's why I think shutting down right now, at least the touring side of it, is good, because I think if we tried to continue to go out and force Dave to sing and perform, yeah, that may not have such a good outcome."

Megadeth has canceled all of its shows this year, with the exception of the inaugural Megacruise October 13 - 18. Mustaine addressed the cruise in his statement, saying that it will go forward and that the band will be involved, though he couldn't clarify in what capacity.

Mustaine indicated in his statement that he will continue working with Megadeth in the studio during his treatment. But Ellefson explained that the front man is taking a step back and delegating some of the work to his band mates, so he can rest.

"The studio, the house that we have is right next door to Dave's property," Ellefson explained. "...So it's easy enough to be able to check in on stuff. And the days when Dave's feeling good, great. If there's days he's not, hey, no worries."

Mustaine has performed in spite of serious health issues before. The legendary guitarist delayed spinal surgery in order to perform at Metallica's 2011 'Big Four' show at Yankee Stadium. He says his spine was in such a state that he "would have died" if he head banged that night.

But when Ellefson broke his foot during a tour in 2016, Mustaine opted to cancel the band's upcoming shows, rather than risk the bassist doing further damage to his foot.

Ellefson said it's appropriate that the band do the same for its front man in this case.

"...Let's just shut down," he said. "Let's take the pressure off of him."

Photo: Getty Images

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