Salivary Gland in the Sky

As MCA's parotid gland takes the Beastie Boys catalog to the other side, we are left to wonder about this extremely rare form of cancer that took musician, rapper, father and Buddhist activist Adam Yauch's life so early. According to the American Cancer Society, only about 2 in 100,000 adults are diagnosed with salivary gland cancer each year. Because it is so rare, not much is known about what causes it or how to treat it, aside from the standard chemo treatment, but is is known to recur, invading the lymph nodes, and sometimes bones and lungs. The parotid gland is the largest salivary glands, which help break down food in preparation for digestion. The cancerous gland was discovered when Yauch felt an unusual lump on his throat. Our hearts go out to his wife, his daughter, and of course the Beastie Boys and their fans.

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