Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, died Friday after a long battle with salivary gland cancer, according to multiple reports. He was 47 years old.
Yauch announced in 2009 that he had been diagnosed and was being treated for cancer of the parotid glands and lymph nodes. There are three major pairs of salivary glands – sublingual, submandibular and parotid, the biggest of the glands.
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, salivary gland cancer is very rare, only affecting two out of 100,000 adults each year in the U.S.
But, recognizing some warning signs is important.
Genden said that while Yauch’s case is tragic, it is still very uncommon. However, he hopes for people to be aware of potential symptoms of salivary gland cancer, which include trouble swallowing, pain or numbness in the face, and most notably, a large lump in the neck.
“It’s not that it’s preventable, but this is the kind of thing that with careful screening and good examinations, you should be fine. The sooner you seek medical attention, the better chance for survival.”
So, if there are any doubts, discuss it with your dentist or physician.