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Country music star Toby Keith reveals he is battling cancer: 'I need time to breathe'

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Country music star Toby Keith revealed that he is battling cancer.

On Sunday afternoon, the "Red Solo Cup" singer made the announcement that he was diagnosed with stomach cancer last fall on his official Instagram account.

"Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer," Keith wrote on Instagram. "I've spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation, and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover, and relax."

"I am looking forward to spending this time with my family," he added. "But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can't wait."

The "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)" singer is currently on tour, and his next scheduled live performance is in Illinois and Michigan on June 17 and 18. Keith, 60, was forced to cancel his concert at the Ohio State Fair next month.

The Oklahoma native released his first album in five years last October titled "Peso In My Pocket."

The National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 26,380 cases of stomach cancer in the U.S. in 2022 – which makes up 1.4% of all new cancer cases. The 5-year relative survival rate for stomach cancer victims is 33.3%.

The average age of people who are diagnosed with stomach cancer is 68, and approximately 60% of people diagnosed with stomach cancer are 65 years old or older, according to the American Cancer Society.

In 2006, the country musician founded the Toby Keith Foundation to provide support for children with cancer. The foundation provides no-cost housing for pediatric cancer patients.

In 2014, the Toby Keith Foundation launched the OK Kids Korral – "a cost-free, convenient and comfortable home for pediatric cancer patients receiving treatment at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, Stephenson Cancer Center, and other nearby facilities."

"There is no greater gift than keeping families strong and together during a difficult time," the foundation states on its website. "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."

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