MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson says that Dave Mustaine is "doing well" four months after he was diagnosed with throat cancer.
The 58-year-old MEGADETH leader revealed his cancer diagnosis on June 17 on social media. He has since issued an update, saying that his doctors "are feeling very positive" regarding the progress of his treatment.
Although most of MEGADETH's previously announced 2019 tour dates have been canceled as Mustaine battles the disease, 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.
Ellefson was asked for an update on Mustaine's health during a recent interview with "Barstool Rockers". He said (hear audio below): "Dave is doing well. It's obviously a bit of a physically taxing journey to go through the treatments, but like he said in his announcement, it's something that needs to be met headfirst and head-on. So he's doing that now. And I think having the MEGADETH album in front of us to be working on is actually good for Dave, I think. He's a creative guy. Creativity strikes us all at different times, and I think when you go through this type of season in your life, I think for all of us in the band and for Dave, it's cool that we also have a new creative endeavor with the new MEGADETH album to be working on it. It's kind of something to always be looking forward to."
Earlier this month, Ellefson told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation" that no "official decision" has yet been made regarding Mustaine's involvement in the Megacruise. "I know me and Kiko [Loureiro, guitar] and Dirk [Verbeuren, drums] will certainly be there," he said. "We're hoping Dave is well enough to be there and be part of it, but, of course, the wise heads will have to prevail on that one, with his health being number one priority."
Mustaine and Ellefson are the two remaining original members of MEGADETH, which was formed in 1983, following Mustaine's dismissal from METALLICA.
MEGADETH is considered to be one of the "Big Four" bands of 1980s thrash metal — a list that includes METALLICA, ANTHRAX and SLAYER.
MEGADETH has recently spent time in the studio working on material for the follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album.