Toby Keith Says He Has Stomach Cancer

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.”

Tour dates previously listed on Mr. Keith’s website were removed after his announcement.

Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, accounts for more than 26,000 new cases a year, or about 1.5 percent of all new cancer diagnoses each year, according to the American Cancer Society. About 11,100 people die each year of that form of cancer.

In 2003, Fred Rogers, best known for his beloved role on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” died of stomach cancer at 74. The fashion designer Liz Claiborne and the prolific Hollywood actor John Wayne also died of stomach cancer in their 70s.

Mr. Keith, a native of Oklahoma, has been a longtime supporter of pediatric cancer patients and their families. In 2004, he helped found a nonprofit for Oklahoma children with cancer called Ally’s House, after the daughter of one of his original bandmates died. Two years later, he started the Toby Keith Foundation, which helps provide support and free housing for pediatric cancer patients and their families in Oklahoma.

“There is no greater gift than keeping families strong and together during a difficult time,” the foundation’s website said about its mission. “If we can alleviate stress on a family, encourage a brother or sister and comfort a sick child, then we will make a difference in the fight against cancer.”

Mr. Keith is a heavyweight in the country music industry with more than 40 top 10 hits and over 30 No. 1 songs. The singer-songwriter won the Merle Haggard Spirit Award from the Academy of Country Music last year for exemplifying the spirit of Mr. Haggard, a 20-time A.C.M. award winner. Mr. Keith was also awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Donald J. Trump in January 2020.

Mr. Keith released his debut album in 1993 and is known for hits like “Red Solo Cup” and his breakthrough song that was one of the most played country songs of the 1990s, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Keith released “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” which made him a household name.

Since 2002, Mr. Keith has performed for more than 250,000 service members in 17 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the United Service Organizations.

His most recent album, “Peso in My Pocket,” was released in October 2021. He achieved his highest-career debut on Billboard’s airplay chart with “Old School,” the first single released from the album.

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