KELIS' husband Mike Mora has died at the age of 37 – after he first started to experience stomach pains in 2020.
The photographer died of stomach cancer on Monday and said his first symptoms included a pain in his back.
Stomach cancer can be hard to spot as the symptoms are often similar to digestive issues.
Mike was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer, also known as gastric adenocarcinoma, and had been given 18 months to live.
He opened up about his cancer diagnosis in October last year.
The photographer said he started to experience excruciating stomach pain in 2020, just after he and his wife Kelis moved to a farm outside Los Angeles.
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He described his symptoms as "loss of appetite" with "pain in my back".
He initially put his pain down to the hard work on the farm.
Mora explained how the doctors diagnosed him with the most advanced form of stomach cancer.
He said: "I thought the whole time that I just had an ulcer. With no idea what was about to come my way.
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"Here I was, in a hospital bed, during the middle of the pandemic. All alone."
But what are the five early signs that you need to know?
1. Heart burn or acid reflux
Many people who suffer from conditions such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease will suffer with this – but it's important if you think it's unrelated that you visit your GP.
The NHS says: "Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux)."
Guidance states that this will feel like a burning sensation in your chest.
You might also have an unpleasant or sour taste in your mouth.
2. Issues swallowing
Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties and some people will have trouble swallowing certain foods or liquids, while others won't be able to swallow at all.
If you're struggling to swallow it might be painful for your throat and you might struggle to swallow food without water.
Other signs of dysphagia include coughing or choking while eating certain foods or drinks, bringing food back up and a feeling that something is stuck in your throat.
3. Feeling or being sick
Another early sign of stomach cancer is the feeling you are going to be sick, or actually being sick.
This might be bought on by other conditions such pregnancy or motion sickness.
If you're concerned though, it's always important to speak to your GP.
This usually includes burping a lot, feeling full or bloated, belching and farting and feeling sick.
You might also bring up food or bitter-tasting fluids into your mouth.
5. Feeling full
The NHS states that feeling uncomfortably full is often a sign of stomach cancer.
While these are the five early signs, Mora said he had also experienced back pain.
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Other symptoms of stomach cancer include:
- loss of appetite
- losing weight without trying
- a lump at the top of your tummy
- pain at the top of your tummy
- feeling tired or having no energy
The NHS says that you might find you get used to some of these symptoms but that it's important to be checked by a GP if your symptoms change, get worse, or do not feel normal for you.
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