In a video posted Monday (July 20) on BeastieBoys.com, Adam "MCA" Yauch announced that he has cancer and the group is canceling all upcoming shows (and pushing back the release of their Hot Sauce Committee, Part One album) while he receives treatment for it.
"The reason we're here talking is because I have some pretty heavy news to say," Yauch said in the video. "About two months ago, I started feeling this little lump in my throat, like what you would feel if you have swollen glands or something like that... and so I didn't really think it was anything. But then recently, when we were over in Europe doing promotion, I started to think that I should talk to my doctor, so I ... saw him when I got back, and he sent me to a specialist. They did tests, and I actually have a form of cancer in the gland that's over here, in the parotid gland, and it's also in the lymph node right in that area."
The parotid is the largest of the salivary glands. It is wrapped about the mandible bone and aides in chewing and swallowing by secreting saliva.
Flanked by bandmate Ad-Rock, Yauch said that he's going to have surgery and begin radiation with the next week, and while the news sounds dire, doctors are optimistic that he should make a full recovery.
"The good news is, they did scans of my whole body and it's only localized in this one area, and it's not in a place that affects my voice, so ... that's nice. That's convenient," he laughed. "So it's a little bit of a setback — it's a pain in the ass — but this is something that's very treatable, and in most cases ... they're able to completely get rid of it, and people don't have continuing problems with it, and they've caught it early and it's not anywhere else in my body. So, that's the good news."
Yauch concluded the video message by apologizing to all Beastie Boys fans for having to cancel the groups' upcoming shows — including headlining slots at the All Points West festival on July 31 and Lollapalooza on August 8 — and joking that his illness will give Ad-Rock time to work on his Kenny Rogers-themed country band.
"This will be a great opportunity," he laughed. "You'll have some time now. This is going to be big."
EMI, the Beastie Boys' label, released a statement confirming the news. "Our thoughts, love and prayers are with Adam Yauch, his family and the Beastie Boys," the statement said. "The most important thing is to allow Adam to focus on staying healthy. We wish him all the best and a speedy recovery."