Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine diagnosed with throat cancer

Mustaine said the band's upcoming shows would be canceled.
Dave Mustaine of Megadeth in 2017.
Dave Mustaine of Megadeth in 2017.Christophe Gateau / dpa via AP

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

Dave Mustaine, the lead vocalist and guitarist of the heavy metal band Megadeth and Metallica's original lead guitarist, has throat cancer, he announced Monday.

"I’ve been diagnosed with throat cancer. It’s clearly something to be respected and faced head on — but I’ve faced obstacles before," Mustaine wrote on the band's Facebook page. He said his doctors have told him that the treatment plan he's been placed on has a 90 percent success rate.

Mustaine said that the band would have to cancel its upcoming 2019 shows, but would be part of the five-day "Megacruise" in October "in some form," and was still working on a follow to its album Dystopia.

"Megadeth will be back on the road ASAP," he wrote. "I’m so thankful for my whole team — family, doctors, band members, trainers, and more."

Mustaine was Metallica's original lead guitarist when the band formed in Los Angeles in 1981. He was fired from the band in 1983, reportedly for becoming confrontational when he overused drugs and alcohol.

That same year, Mustaine formed Megadeth with bassist David Ellefson.