Country music icon Toby Keith, who became famous for his deep voice and patriotic hits, died Monday of stomach cancer at the age of 62.
The singer-songwriter announced his cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2022, at age 60, and said he was being treated with radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.
Stomach cancer (or gastric cancer) is rare in the United States, accounting for only 1.5 percent of new cancer diagnoses each year. That’s about 16,000 men and 10,000 women.
And the American Cancer Society reports that cancer cases have decreased each year for the past decade.
However, experts say that most patients are diagnosed at a late stage, when it is difficult to treat and may have spread to other parts of the body. Currently, only one-third survive five years after diagnosis.
This is because the symptoms are too often confused with other more common problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome and food allergies.
Below, DailyMail.com reveals warning signs to look out for and what you can do to reduce your risk.
Toby Keith, who became famous for his deep voice and patriotic hits, died Monday of stomach cancer at the age of 62.
Toby Keith attended the 2023 People’s Choice Country Awards in Tennessee in September 2023. The musician announced that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2022.
Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, begins when cells in the stomach begin to grow out of control.
In its early stages, People rarely experience symptoms.
There are several types of stomach cancer, but the most common are adenocarcinomas, which They grow in the innermost lining of the stomach called the mucosa.
There are two types of adenocarcinomas: intestinal adenocarcinoma, which usually has a better prognosis, and diffuse adenocarcinoma, which grows faster and is more difficult to treat.
It is not known what type of stomach cancer Mr Keith had.
Most people diagnosed with stomach cancer are 65 years old or older; The average age of diagnosis is 68 years old, but Keith was only 60 years old when he was diagnosed.
There are several types of stomach cancer: adenocarcinomas, gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GST), and neuroendocrine tumors. It is not known what type of stomach cancer Mr. Keith had.
Symptoms of the disease include lack of appetite, weight loss without trying, abdominal pain, heartburn or indigestion, nausea, vomiting blood, black stools, swelling of the abdomen, fatigue and weakness.
Some of these signs may also be caused by other types of cancer, the ACS said, so you should visit your doctor if you experience worsening or prolonged symptoms.
Stomach cancer is not common in the United States and accounts for only 1.5 percent of new cancer diagnoses each year.
The risk is slightly elevated for men: 1 in 101 men is diagnosed with gastric cancer.
Rates have been on the decline, falling about 1.5 percent each year over the past decade.
In the US, about 26,900 people – 16,160 men and 10,730 women – will be diagnosed and about 10,900 – 6,490 men and 4,390 women – will die in 2024, the ACS estimates.
Cancer is more common in older people, and most people are diagnosed at age 65 or older. The average age of diagnosis is 68, but Keith was only 60 when he was diagnosed and 62 when he died.
Risk factors include alcohol and tobacco use, previous stomach surgery, some stomach polyps, genetics and some genetic disorders, obesity, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, and certain occupations, including those in coal, metal or rubber industries.
Diet, geography and ethnicity are also risk factors.
Diets high in salty or pickled foods, processed, grilled or charcoal meats, and few fruits appear to increase the risk of stomach cancer.
Additionally, stomach cancer is more common in East Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, and Central America and among Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders, according to the ACS.
While the disease is rare in the U.S., approximately 1 million people worldwide will be diagnosed this year and it is one of the most common causes of cancer death globally, according to the World Health Organization. Health.
There are several treatment options once stomach cancer is diagnosed.
Keith said he was undergoing radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.
Treatment options include surgical procedures to remove the cancer, removal of the stomach, laser therapy, radiation therapy to kill cancer cells, chemotherapy to kill and stop the growth of cancer cells, and immunotherapy, which harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.
The survival rate for stomach cancer can vary widely, but the average five-year survival rate is 36 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute.
That increases to 75 percent for cancer that occurs only in the stomach.
For cancer that has spread beyond the stomach to nearby organs, the five-year survival rate is 35 percent, but for stomach cancer that has spread beyond the stomach to a distant part of the body it is drops to just seven percent.