Understanding Stomach Cancer
- Toby Keith, who is currently battling stomach cancer, was just given an award from a cancer non-profit for his work with the Toby Keith Foundation.
- Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is more likely to form in the gastroesophageal junction – the area where the long tube (esophagus) that carries food you swallow meets the stomach for people in the United States.
- A cancer battle, or any health struggle for that matter, can lead to a whole host of complex emotions – and it’s okay to allow yourself to feel the negative ones too. But holding onto hope in the face of adversity can be a really powerful way to get through the toughest of times, and focusing on positive thinking is one way to try to do that.
The Red Solo Cup singer couldn’t attend the SabesWings Second Annual Strike Out Fundraiser in Paso Robles, California, but SabesWings – a non-profit dedicated to addressing financial toxicity for families dealing with cancer – made sure he was a part of the special night.Read More
“Hi, I’m honored to accept this lifetime achievement award from SabesWings,” he said in the video. “I’ve been through a crazy year dealing with cancer myself and was unable to attend the event this year, and I’m sorry about that.
“I look forward to attending on another day.”
Toby Keith’s Cancer Battle
Toby Keith told fans about his stomach cancer diagnosis in June.
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“Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer,” Keith posted to Instagram. “I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax.
“I am looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.”
After releasing his first album in five years last October, Peso In My Pocket, Keith had been on tour. But now any upcoming tour dates have been removed from his website.
Still, Keith has made a point to thank the people who have stepped up to support him during this difficult time.
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“Thank you for all your love and support,” he wrote in another post from June. “I have the best fans in the world.”
We don’t know too many specific details about Keith’s ongoing cancer battle, but the SurvivorNet community is wishing him all the best as he continues to navigate the road ahead.
Understanding Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, can affect any part of the stomach. Interestingly enough, stomach cancers usually develop in the main part of the stomach (stomach body) for most of the world, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In the United States, however, stomach cancer is more likely to form in the gastroesophageal junction – the area where the long tube (esophagus) that carries food you swallow meets the stomach.
Factors that increase your risk of having stomach cancer include:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- A diet high in salty and smoked foods
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables
- Family history of stomach cancer
- Infection with Helicobacter pylori
- Long-term stomach inflammation (gastritis)
- Stomach polyps
Treatment options for stomach cancer can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy and immunotherapy. The decision-making process for choosing a treatment path can vary depending on a few factors including:
- The cancer’s location
- The stage of the cancer
- How aggressive the cancer is
- Your overall health
- Your treatment preferences
Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer are not exclusive to the disease, but they may include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Feeling bloated after eating
- Feeling full after eating small amounts of food
- Stomach pain
- Unintentional weight loss
As always, having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have stomach cancer. These things are more likely to be caused by other issues, but it’s always a good idea to see your doctor if you’re worried. You never know when speaking up about an issue can lead to a very important diagnosis.
Staying Positive during a Cancer Journey
It’s very normal to have negative feelings throughout your cancer journey, and it’s okay to express them too! Anger, shame, fear, anxiety – it’s all to be expected. But doctors will tell you that people who find a way to work through the emotions and stay positive tend to have better outcomes.
“A positive attitude is really important,” Dr. Zuri Murrell, a colorectal surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, previously told SurvivorNet. “I’m pretty good at telling what kind of patients are going to still have this attitude and probably going to live the longest, even with bad, bad disease. And those are patients who, they have gratitude in life.”
At SurvivorNet, we get to share many stories of positivity and resilience because there’s no shortage of brave cancer warriors holding onto hope in the face of adversity.
Take Danielle Ripley-Burgess for example. She’s a cancer survivor who was first diagnosed with colon cancer in high school and then proceeded to beat the disease not once, but twice. Understandably so, Ripley-Burgess has had to work through a lot of complex emotions that came with her cancer journey. Even still, she’s always managed to look at life with a positive attitude.
“As I’ve worked through the complex emotions of cancer, I’ve uncovered some beautiful things: Wisdom. Love. Life purpose. Priorities,” she previously told SurvivorNet. “I carry a very real sense that life is short, and I’m grateful to be living it! This has made me optimistic. Optimism doesn’t mean that fear, pain and division don’t exist – they do. Our world is full of negativity, judgment, and hate. Optimism means that I believe there’s always good to be found despite the bad, and this is what my life is centered around.”
She moves through life with a sense of purpose unique to someone who’s been faced with the darkest of times. Happily in remission today, she’s determined to, one day, leave the world better than she found it.
“We can choose to stay positive, treat others with respect and look for the light in spite of the darkness,” she said. “This type of attitude and behavior will lead to the kind of legacies I believe all of us hope to leave.”