Commentary: Toby Keith’s Stomach Cancer Diagnosis

On June 13, 2022, The New York Times shared the news of Toby Keith’s stomach cancer diagnosis. McKenna Oxenden wrote:

Toby Keith, the country music star, announced on Sunday afternoon on social media that he was treated for stomach cancer over the past six months.

The singer said he was diagnosed with cancer in the fall and had been receiving chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

“So far, so good,” Mr. Keith, 60, wrote in a statement on multiple social media platforms. “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.”

Francis R Spitz, MD, FACS

Francis R Spitz, MD, FACS

Francis R. Spitz, MD, FACS, and Jamin C. Morrison, MD, with MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, shared their insights on this disease, including diagnosis and approaches to treatment:

“Recently, country music star, Toby Keith, reported that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer. The 60-year-old took to social media to let his fans know that he has spent the last six months receiving chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to combat his disease in hopes of returning to the stage soon.

“The American Cancer Society estimates that there are about 26,380 new cases of stomach cancer (or gastric cancer) diagnosed in the U.S. each year, and more than 60% of people diagnosed with this condition are over the age of 65.

Jamin C Morrison, MD

Jamin C Morrison, MD

“Stomach cancer is a complex disease and often requires a multidisciplinary approach to treatment that may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment just as Mr. Keith received.

“The Gastrointestinal Cancer Program team at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper creates customized treatment plans for each patient. Our team includes expert oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, and other cancer specialists, along with specially trained nutritionists and nurses who work collaboratively to provide patients with coordinated care resulting in excellent patient outcomes.”


Francis R. Spitz, MD, FACS, is the Deputy Director of MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper and Vice Chief, Department of Surgery at Cooper University Health Care.

Jamin C. Morrison, MD, is the Medical Director, Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.

For more information, visit our Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer page by clicking here.

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