MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson says that he is "very hopeful and optimistic" about Dave Mustaine's chances of beating throat cancer.
The 57-year-old MEGADETH leader revealed his cancer diagnosis on June 17 on social media. He said that he has already begun treatment as part of a plan that his doctors feel has a "90% success rate."
Although most of MEGADETH's previously announced 2019 tour dates have been canceled as Mustaine undergoes treatment, the MEGADETH-curated Megacruise — which is set to take place October 13-19 — will still depart as scheduled, and the band will be a part of it in some form.
Asked if it is hard for him to go about his daily business as he awaits updates on Mustaine's health status, Ellefson told the "Appetite For Distortion" podcast (hear audio below): "I lost my brother to colon cancer about five years ago. When it was diagnosed, it was already Stage 4, so there wasn't really too much hope left in that one for his chance of surviving it. But I think in this case, I definitely am optimistic about it. As Dave said in his press release, it's to be respected and met really head on and just right straight into it, which he's doing… So, I pray, and I lift it up to the higher power to have his hand on that. And in the meantime, take the next steps that are put in front of me, which, right now at this month and probably the next few months of my life, is the ['More Life With Deth'] book and the 'Sleeping Giants' [solo] CD. And I guess it's kind of a cool thing because it keeps me occupied on something creative, something that's new for the fans. And I think it keeps kind of a creative mojo moving forward too even for the MEGADETH fans that are watching all this happen right now as well. So I'd like to think the good Lord kind of finds his time and his space, and all things kind of move forward as they're supposed to. But, yeah, I'm very hopeful and optimistic about Dave's recovery, for sure."
MEGADETH is continuing work on material for its follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album for a tentative 2020 release. The sessions for the new disc are taking place in Franklin, Tennessee with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on 2016's "Dystopia" album.
Mustaine and Ellefson are the two remaining original members of MEGADETH, which was formed in 1983, following Mustaine's dismissal from METALLICA.