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EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — On Monday, country music star Toby Keith passed away at the age of 62, after a two-year battle with stomach cancer.
The signs of stomach cancer can often be easy to miss. Now, medical experts are raising awareness.
“When the abnormal growth happens in the stomach, we call it stomach cancer,” said Dr. Sorab Gupta a medical oncologist at Geisinger.
Dr. Gupta, a medical oncologist at Geisinger says there are a few key symptoms stomach cancer typically presents.
“You can have nausea, you can have vomiting you can have bloating, weight loss. you can have difficulty in swallowing, you can have anemia,” says Dr. Gupta.
He says most people don’t realize they have stomach cancer until they are in the advanced stages.
He says catching it early is the key to curing it.
“If it’s only for a few days, you can still watch but if the symptoms are present for weeks you should get checked,” added Dr. Gupta.
He says a simple endoscopy can save a life.
90% of people who catch gastric cancer in its early stages are cured.
“Males are affected more than females. It used to be a cancer that happened in older generations, but not anymore,” continued Dr. Gupta.
Dr. Gupta says doctors haven’t been able to identify a direct link, but that the reason for this could be due to the rise in obesity nationwide, and consuming processed and preserved foods.
“You have to change your lifestyle on a daily basis to not only reduce the risk for gastric cancers, but a lot of other cancers,” said Dr. Gupta.
Dr. Gupta says 10% of gastric cancers are genetic.
If you have a family history of gastric cancer, you should receive regular screenings