MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine says that he has been "100 percent" cancer-free since last October.
The 58-year-old MEGADETH guitarist/vocalist revealed his throat cancer diagnosis last June on social media, saying the doctors had given him a 90 percent chance of beating the illness. Five months later, he gave an interview to Rolling Stone in which he said that he wasn't officially in remission but that he had finished the necessary treatment and had started rehabilitation. He also credited his faith for getting him through the ordeal.
Mustaine addressed his cancer battle during MEGADETH's concert Friday night (January 31) at The SSE Arena in London, England. Speaking to the crowd before launching into the title track of MEGADETH's latest album, "Dystopia", he said (see video below): "About a year ago, we were working on our new album back in Franklin, Tennessee, and I started to feel some pain over here [points to his throat]. So I went to the doctor and he said, 'Dave, you have cancer.' And I went, 'Fuck! I have cancer.' And I was so shocked."
He continued: "At first, I thought, 'Am I afraid?' And then I said, 'No. I'm fucking pissed.' And we stopped the record; we stopped everything. I went into treatment for cancer. It was 51 radiation treatments and nine chemo treatments. And when it was all said and done, every day I would think, 'I can't face not playing again. I can't face not playing again.' So I would pray. I know a lot of you guys know that I pray. I say that in [the MEGADETH song] 'Peace Sells'. I pray every day. I say that in the song. I've said it since the second record. But I thought about you guys every day too. And I thought about my family. And I got this power from you guys. And I just kept thinking about it. And on October 16th, I went to go see the doctor, and he said, 'You're 100 percent free of cancer.'"
When he spoke with Rolling Stone last fall, Mustaine said that he was "on the other side" of the majority of the treatment. He added: "After the radiation, the guy said all of my test results looked amazing. 'You look like you're in a stage 1 and you're supposed to be in stage 3 right now.' And then the oncologist said the same thing: 'You look really strong.' So we kept moving through the process."
Mustaine also credited the support he received from fans and friends with getting him through the treatment. He said: "A lot came from people that I knew but I didn't know cared. Most notably, I got a text message back from my old brother, James Hetfield [METALLICA], and I was so, so happy to hear from him. Contrary to what anybody says and contrary to any of the act that we put on, I love James and I know that James loves me and cares about me. You can see that when the moment of truth is here and I'm telling the world that I've got a life-threatening disease. Who comes to stand next to me? James. And I got a text message from Ozzy [Osbourne], and one from Paul Stanley [KISS]. It was great to get one from Ozzy; I didn't expect it from Paul Stanley. That was super bitchin' because in the beginning, when KISS first came out, I was just a kid and I loved them.
"I'm really grateful for everybody. Even the people who have a hard time with my behavior and my big mouth, I'm just so grateful for them showing care for me. Like they say, at the end of the day, all we've got is each other here in this crazy metal community."
MEGADETH's 16th album is not expected to arrive before early next year.