Bad news: Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys has been diagnosed with cancer. While the disease likely won't affect the musician's vocal cords, it'll most surely devastate his fans.
The band has cancelled all upcoming concert appearances and pushed back the release of its forthcoming album "Hot Sauce Committee Part I."
Last week, doctors found a cancerous lymph node in Yauch's left parotid (salivary) gland in his neck. Fortunately, they caught it early and since the tumor hasn't metastasized, it's considered highly treatable.
The 44-year-old performer, who says he started noticing a lump in his throat a few months ago, is just as bummed about the canceled tour dates as his fans.
"I just need to take a little time to get this in check, and then we'll release the record and play some shows," Yauch said in a video statement on the band's Web site. "It's a pain in the neck (sorry had to say it) because i was really looking forward to playing these shows, but the doctors have made it clear that this is not the kind of thing that can be put aside to deal with later."
Yauch said he has to undergo surgery, perhaps as early as next week, and then follow up with localized radiation therapy.
Meanwhile, the Beastie Boys' Web site has been inundated with "Get Well" messages from longtime fans.
"Just wanted to drop a note to tell Yauch to hang in there," one fan wrote. "I'm with you, like you have been with me since I was young and had hair. Now that bald and grey I still love you guys."
Another Beastie Boy buff wrote he's been following the band for so long that the news about Yauch's cancer was the equivalent of hearing that one of his close relatives had fallen ill.
"It's sad ... sorta lump in the throat sad," the fan wrote. "When you feel this way about certain people, you kind of assign some sort of immortality kind of thing on them, and things like this make you realize that no one is immune. Life happens to all of us."
Throughout his 3-minute video address, Yauch continued to assure concerned fans that the cancer wouldn't affect his voice and that it hadn't spread anywhere else in his body. He acknowledged it was a setback, but one he and the band would overcome.
"I apologize to anyone who's made plans or been psyched to come to these shows that are coming up, and I apologize to anyone whose put themselves out in terms of their schedules or whatever, [but] we'll be back doing this soon," Yauch said.
The Beastie Boys had been scheduled to play in multiple venues this summer, including at All Points West on July 31.