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"Red Solo Cup" singer Toby Keith died "peacefully" Monday night. The 62-year-old country singer, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2022, died "surrounded by his family," according to a statement posted to X (formerly Twitter).
"He fought his fight with grace and courage," the statement read. "Please respect the privacy of his family at this time."
Keith leaves behind his wife, Tricia and his children: daughters Krystal and Shelley and his son, Stelen.
Keith publicly announced his cancer diagnosis on social media in June 2022. At the time, the "Should've Been a Cowboy" singer said he had spent "six months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery."
"So far, so good," he wrote. "I need time to breathe, recover and relax."
Keith spoke about his cancer battle at the 2023 People's Choice Country Awards. He told E! News it's been "a little bit of a roller coaster. You get good days and, you know, you're up and down, up and down...It's always zero to 60 and 60 to zero but I feel good today."
What is stomach cancer?
Stomach cancers, also known as gastric cancers, tend to grow slowly and develop over time. Although it's unclear what type of stomach cancer Keith was battling, approximately 95 per cent of stomach cancer cases are adenocarcinomas.
Adenocarcinoma begins in the glands cells in the mucosa, the stomach's innermost lining. There are several types of cancers that begin in the stomach, like gastrointestinal stromal tumours, neuroendocrine tumours and gastric lymphomas.
What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?
According to My Gut Feeling (the Stomach Cancer Foundation of Canada), symptoms of stomach cancer may include:
abdominal pain or discomfort
nausea and vomiting (vomit looks like ‘coffee grounds’
changes in bowels (consistency, frequency)
blood in the soil, dark/black bowels, foul smelling stool
fluid build-up in the abdomen (ascites)
anemia (fatigue, feeling weak)
heartburn or indigestion
Stomach cancer risk factors
Although the exact cause is unclear, there are several factors that can increase your risk of developing stomach cancer. Stomach cancer is typically diagnosed when people are in their 60s and is more common in men than women.
Alcohol and tobacco use also increase your risk of stomach cancer as well as infection with H pylori bacteria (Helicobacter pylori). H pylori can cause inflammation of the stomach wall (gastritis) and could lead to stomach ulcers. My Gut Feeling notes that the bacteria changes the cells in the stomach, which can cause cancer to develop —but not always.
People with diets that include a lot of salt and red meat have an increased risk of developing stomach cancer as well as people with type A blood, although it's unclear why.
A family history of stomach cancer and previous stomach surgeries can also increase your risk of stomach cancer.
Stomach Cancer in Canada
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, approximately 4,100 Canadians are diagnosed with stomach cancer per year.
The survival rate for stomach cancer varies depending on the type and stage of cancer. Approximately 29 per cent of people in Canada diagnosed with stomach cancer will survive for at least five years.
There is currently no routine screening for stomach cancer. Visit your doctor if you have a family history of stomach cancer or are concerned about your health.