On Friday (May 4), Adam Yauch (aka MCA) — one of the founding members of The Beastie Boys — died at the age of 47 after battling salivary gland cancer for three years. After surgery in 2009 and subsequent radiation therapy, Yauch was optimistic about his prognosis.
Although a definitive cause of death hasn’t been released, Yauch’s cancer is suspected.
According to WebMD, Salivary Gland Cancer is rare, but often treatable. Cancer cells attack the salivary glands and most forms begin in the roof of the mouth. Half the time the tumors are benign and do not spread.
The National Cancer Institute lists these symptoms as signs of salivary cancer:
>> A lump (usually painless) in the area of the ear, cheek, jaw, lip, or inside the mouth
>> Fluid draining from the ear
>> Trouble swallowing or opening the mouth widely
>> Numbness or weakness in the face
>> Pain in the face that does not go away
To learn more about the disease, visit the National Cancer Institute.