Toby Keith’s Health: His Cancer Battle and Death – Hollywood Life

Toby Keith’s Health: His Battle With Cancer & Death at 62

Toby Keith died following a battle with stomach cancer on February 5, 2024. Find out everything to know about his diagnosis and his death

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Toby Keith has died following a battle with stomach cancer on February 5, 2024. He was 62. Toby had been diagnosed with the disease in fall 2021, but he didn’t reveal the news publicly until June 2022. He revealed that he was undergoing treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation, and he announced that he would take time off to spend it with his family.

Toby’s family announced his passing in a post on X. “Toby Keith paced peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family,” the message said. “He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for BMI

Learn more about the country singer’s health and what else he’s shared before his tragic passing.

Toby Keith Diagnosed With Stomach Cancer

Toby took to social media in June 2022 to share the post above to inform his fans that he was diagnosed with stomach cancer in the fall of 2021. “I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax,” he wrote in the message before then assuring fans he would be back on stage once he was feeling better. “I am looking forward to spending time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait. -T,” he added.

The singer received an outpouring of support from his fans and fellow country music stars online. Two days later, he wrote a message of thanks to those showing him love. “Thank you for all your love and support,” Toby gushed. “I have the best fans in the world.”

By the time Toby had gone public with his news, he had already been battling cancer for six months and was able to keep the news out of the public eye for that time. He continued to fight the disease privately after that, with his Instagram page only including throwback photos and videos, as opposed to any new pics.

What Is Stomach Cancer?

“Stomach cancer, which is also called gastric cancer, is a growth of cells that starts in the stomach,” according to the Mayo Clinic. The stomach is located in the upper middle part of the belly, just below the ribs, and helps to break down and digest food. “In most of the world, stomach cancers happen in the main part of the stomach,” the Mayo Clinic also states.

The website also says that, in the United States, stomach cancer is more likely to start by the gastroesophageal junction. This is the part where the long tube that carries food you swallow meets the stomach. The tube that carries food to the stomach is called the esophagus.”

Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer, which is determined by whether or not it is located just in the stomach. Some of the treatment options that may be used include radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. The prognosis depends on where the cancer cells are. For people with only small stomach cancers, the chances of the treatment working are “quite good,” according to Mayo Clinic. It may even cure the disease completely if caught and treated early enough.

Symptoms of stomach cancer can include trouble swallowing, belly pain, feeling full after eating small amounts of food, losing weight, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, and more.

How Long Has Toby Keith Been Sick?

Toby was first diagnosed in the fall of 2021 and started receiving treatment soon after. It’s unclear if he was experiencing symptoms before his diagnosis or if he experienced side effects of the treatment, but he informed his fans months after he found out he was battling the disease. He also admitted it was “pretty debilitating” to go through it, in an interview with the CMT Hot 20 Countdown in Nov. 2022. However, he did not specify what he experienced before his diagnosis and during his treatment.

What Updates Did Toby Give Prior to His Death?

Toby gave an update on his condition in November 2022. “I’m thinking about getting back to fightin’ shape,” he told CMT Hot 20 Countdown’s Cody Alan at the time. “I need a little bit of time to just rest up and heal up. It’s pretty debilitating to have to go through all that, but as long as everything stays hunky-dory, then we’ll look at something good in the future.”

The interview happened after he gave a surprise performance at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in Lexington, Kentucky, while he was in town for the Breeders’ Cup in early Nov. 2022. While looking thinner, he sang the songs, “I Love This Bar,” Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” and Otis Redding‘s “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.” It was his first public appearance since going public with news of his cancer.

In early June 2023, Toby hosted his annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Tournament, so he was back in the public eye once again. He shared a rare, new photo to Instagram at the time, and fans were happy to see him smiling and looking to be in good spirits. At a gala for the tournament, he also spoke to The Oklahoman about his condition, where he said he was “feeling pretty good” at the time. “Basically, everything is in a real positive trend,” he shared. “You never know with cancer, so you have to prepare.”

While work was still on the back-burner for Toby at the time, he did say he was hoping to hit the road and tour by the end of the year. “I’ve got more wind [now],” he said. “And I’m thinking about bringing the band in and setting up, playing two or three days somewhere just to see if I can get through two hours. All I gotta do is see if I can get through two or three nights of work and get a little break in this chemo, and we’ll go back to work. I’m ready.”

Toby confirmed that he was still having chemotherapy treatments at the time, but shared that his tumor had already shrunk to a third of its original size. “I’m about another eight weeks from my last scan,” he explained, in the June 2023 interview. “So I expect next time I look for that tumor to be even less. And I’ve only got one that’s shown up.”

Later that month, Toby returned to the stage at his bar in Oklahoma, Hollywood Corners, for back-to-back shows on June 30 and July 1. While the shows were supposed to just be rehearsals for Toby to test out the waters, he wound up performing full sets on both nights. “Toby’s first rehearsal turned into a 2 1/2 hour pop up show,” a caption for photos from the show read. “He sang all the hits plus the Bus Songs…Toby is back!”

In a September 28, 2023 interview, Toby shared a positive update ahead of receiving the Country Icon Award at the People’s Choice Country Awards. “I feel pretty good,” he told E! News“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.”

Unfortunately, Toby died following his battle with cancer on Monday, February 5, 2024.