Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine opened up about his current state of health after he 100% cleared himself from the diagnosis of throat cancer, saying he is still struggling with the side effects of the chemotherapy.
Known for being a founding member and lead vocalist of his heavy metal band Megadeth, Dave Mustaine first started playing music in a band called Metallica, which he was fired in 1983. Being replaced by Kirk Hammett due to personal issues at the time, the guitarist created his own legacy and became one of the most successful artists in music as a member of Megadeth, who sold over 50 million albums worldwide. Having contributed to the band’s every release since its existence, Mustaine is still a key member of the band.
In June 2019, Dave Mustaine shocked his fans with an announcement that said he was diagnosed with throat cancer. At the time, he worked so hard to get back his health and worked closely with his doctors. Two months after he had begun the treatments, Mustaine even felt pretty well. After a 5-month treatment, Mustaine cleared himself of cancer and made his fans, friends, and family happy. Shortly after his treatments, Megadeth kicked off rehearsals for a European tour.
However, recently, Dave Mustaine opened up about his current body condition during an interview with Guitar World. Saying that treatments caused him to damage his left arm, Mustaine added that he had fears that he would never play guitar again. He also admitted that a piece of the cancer medication hurt his brain.
“The toughest part wasn’t the process of going through all of the radiation and the chemotherapy,” Mustaine says. “A lot of the cancer medication they gave me fucked with my memory really bad. They call it chemo brain, so I’ve been having a hard time staying in the moment, but it’s getting better. Every day is a little better.”
Dave Mustaine Reveals He Almost Lost Control Of His Left Hand
Later then, Dave Mustaine revealed how he almost lost control of his left hand during the recovery process. He was clearly sure that wasn’t going to let cancer affect the way he played guitar. Although it was a tough journey for Mustaine, he struggled with it very well and got his health back.
“I grabbed my stuff and said: ‘You don’t’ know who I am’, and walked out. I flew home and met with another doctor, who put me on this radical shock treatment therapy.
“I had to wear these crazy contraptions, and there’s still a little bit of damage to the arm. But having 80 percent use of my arm and never playing again versus shredding my ass off and having a little clicking sound… yeah, it’s a good thing I started with a piece of shit car.
“I’m used to all kinds of clicks and cracks when I drive. So, having made it through that, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to let cancer affect the way I played.”
Back in September 2021, Dave Mustaine talked about his struggle against throat cancer. Touching on his emotions during the time when he first learned he was cancer, the guitarist said that they were during the Jimi Hendrix Experience tour when Mustaine first noticed cancer. He admitted that he had tears going down his face.
“When I found out I had cancer, I was convinced there was something wrong,” Mustaine says. “We were out on tour, we were doing the Jimi Hendrix Experience thing, and I had just had a tooth fixed back here on the bottom of my left-hand side.
“And it was hurting really, really, really bad, and I thought, ‘I bet the dentist was trying to do something, and something happened, and they didn’t see it, and maybe one of those little tools broke off in my gum. Maybe there’s some debris, maybe an old crown splintered and a piece of glass from the ceramic went into my gum… Who knows?’
“I go back to the dentist, and he goes, ‘Dave, I can’t see it, I think you need to go see an oral surgeon – because the oral surgeon will be able to tell you what’s going on.’ It’s like, ‘Go to see the oral surgeon,’ and he makes me wait.
“There’s nobody there, end of the day, he’s goofing around with the young chicks in his office, and I’m getting mad, and he comes in, he goes, ‘Looks like you got the big C, you need to go see an ENT to make sure.’
“And I went. I just froze, and then I said, ‘What…?’ It felt like I was there for a year. And then he said the same thing, ‘Looks like you got the big C, you should go see an INT.’ So I got up, I walked out, I got in my car, closed the door, and I sat there for a little while.
“I finally looked up, and I had tears coming down my face. I wasn’t crying, but I was visibly in some kind of state of denial. I don’t know that I ever went into shock, but was visibly surprised, and something was wrong.”