WORCESTER, Mass. - Last week, country music icon Toby Keith passed away at the age of 62, more than two years after being diagnosed with stomach cancer.

After his passing, doctors are warning that the signs of stomach cancer can be difficult to pick up on, and they’ve even noticed a slight uptick in cases over recent years.

Dr. Kala Seetharaman, an oncologist with Saint Vincent Medical Group, said factors which contribute to this type of cancer include smoking, alcohol, and a low fiber diet high in salt.

Stomach cancer is often diagnosed at a later stage when patients don’t have nearly as good a chance of survival, so she added that its important to know your body and be on alert for those early warning signs.

"If they develop any symptoms like unusual weight loss or heartburn, it's a huge thing," Dr. Seetharaman said. "Sometimes, people assume that the heartburn is just because they're not eating the right diet. But if it continues, then they should see the doctor."

She said people should follow up with their provider if they are more tired than usual or notice a bloating sensation - don’t assume it has to do with the food you’ve been eating.

In addition to knowing your own body, Dr. Seetharaman said important for oncologists to do genetic testing for patients who are diagnosed with stomach cancer in order to figure out if their family members could also be more susceptible to it.