Dave Mustaine has been diagnosed with throat cancer.
The MEGADETH leader broke the news of his diagnosis earlier today via his social media.
He wrote: "I've been diagnosed with throat cancer. It's clearly something to be respected and faced head on — but I've faced obstacles before. I'm working closely with my doctors, and we've mapped out a treatment plan which they feel has a 90% success rate. Treatment has already begun.
"Unfortunately, this requires that we cancel most shows this year. The 2019 Megacruise will happen, and the band will be a part of it in some form. All up to date information will be at megadeth.com as we get it. MEGADETH will be back on the road ASAP.
"Meanwhile, Kiko [ Loureiro , guitar], David [ Ellefson , bass], Dirk [ Verbeuren , drums] and I are in the studio, working on the follow up to 'Dystopia' — which I can't wait for everyone to hear.
"I'm so thankful for my whole team — family, doctors, band members, trainers, and more.
"I'll keep everyone posted.
"See you soon, Dave Mustaine "
Mustaine was a member of METALLICA for less than two years, from 1981 to 1983, before being dismissed and replaced by Kirk Hammett . He went on to form MEGADETH and achieve worldwide success of his own.
In the past three and a half decades, Mustaine has earned a loyal following. The Southern California native can be considered an architect of the speed metal movement, which is one of many branches on the family tree of heavy, guitar-based music.
MEGADETH has earned its spot as one of metal's most influential and respected acts of all time. Over the course of its illustrious 36-year career, the band has sold more than 38 million albums worldwide, notched six consecutive platinum efforts, seven Top 10 albums, and has earned numerous accolades, including 12 Grammy nominations and a 2017 Grammy Award in the "Best Metal Performance" category for the "Dystopia" title track.
MEGADETH 's "Rust In Peace" , "Youthanasia" and "Cryptic Writings" albums were all certified platinum, while "Countdown to Extinction" went double-platinum. The latter record, released in 1992, is also the band’s highest-charting release, as it made it to No. 2 on the Billboard 200.