Toby Keith shares update on stomach cancer battle at People's Choice Country Awards

Legendary country musician Toby Keith isn't letting his fight against stomach cancer slow him down.

"I feel pretty good," Keith, 62, told E! News at the People's Choice Country Awards, where he received the 2023 Country Icon award Thursday night. "It's a little bit of a roller coaster. You get good days and, you know, you're up and down, up and gown. It's always zero to 60 and 60 to zero, but I feel good today."

During his acceptance speech, Keith thanked his family, collaborators, fans and God.

"I want to thank the Almighty for allowing me to be here tonight. He's been riding shotgun with me for a little while," Keith said.

The "Should've Been a Cowboy" singer attended the event at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Tricia Lucus, and performed "Don't Let the Old Man," his song from Clint Eastwood's 2018 film, "The Mule."

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What has Toby Keith said about his cancer treatment?

The People's Choice Country Awards was Keith's first televised performance since he announced his diagnosis last year, sharing in June 2022 that he had been receiving radiation, chemotherapy and surgery for six months.

"I'm feeling pretty good. ... I'm about another eight weeks from my last scan. So, I expect next time I look for that tumor to be even less — and I've only got one that's shown up," Keith told The Oklahoman, part of the USA TODAY network, in an exclusive interview in June.

Toby Keith and Tricia Lucas arrive for the People's Choice Country Awards at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday Sept. 28, 2023.
Toby Keith and Tricia Lucas arrive for the People's Choice Country Awards at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday Sept. 28, 2023.

"Basically, everything is in a real positive trend. You never know with cancer, so you have to prepare," he said. "But my goal is, I feel better; I've got more wind."

Keith has continued to be dedicated to his musical career throughout his battle with cancer: His upcoming album, "Songwriter" — a collection of 13 originally written hits from his career — will release Nov. 3.

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What is stomach cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, stomach cancer begins when cells in the stomach start to grow out of control. Stomach cancer is different from other cancers that can occur in the abnormal region, like colon, liver, or pancreas cancer. These cancers can have different symptoms, outlooks and different treatments.

Stomach cancers tend to develop slowly over time. Before a true cancer develops, pre-cancerous changes can occur in the inner lining of the stomach. Because these changes rarely cause symptoms, they often go undetected.

What causes stomach cancer?

There are many risk factors that increases the chances of getting cancer, such as age, sex, diet, and alcohol and tobacco use, among others. While some factors can be controlled, others can not. The American Cancer Society says it's not often clear exactly how different factors might affect how cells in the stomach become cancer cells.

The subject is still being researched.

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Is there a cure for stomach cancer?

The main stomach cancer treatments involve surgery, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy.

The American Cancer Society says that often the best approach uses 2 or more types of treatment. The treatment received will depend on factors like the location and the stage of the cancer.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Toby Keith performs in Nashville amid stomach cancer battle