Ossie Davis, the characteristically deep-voiced actor, blazed a path for Black actors on stage and screen for years with his wife and acting partner, Ruby Dee, while working tirelessly for civil rights.
His career spanned decades and his legacy lives on through his philanthropic and socio-political work.
“We knew that every time we got a job and every time we were onstage, America was looking to make judgments about all Black folks on the basis of how you looked, how you sounded, how you carried yourself. So any role you had was a role that was involved in the struggle for Black identification. You couldn’t escape it.”
His fight finally came to an end in 2005 when he succumbed to complications from stomach cancer. The actor’s death raised some important questions about the rare form of cancer and how it can be prevented.
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What is stomach cancer?
Per the National Cancer Foundation, stomach cancer is an abnormal growth of cells that begins in the stomach.
The stomach is a muscular sac located in the upper middle of your abdomen, just below your ribs. Your stomach receives and holds the food you eat and then helps to break down and digest it.
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, can affect any part of the stomach.
In most of the world, stomach cancers form in the main part of the stomach (stomach body).
But in the United States, stomach cancer is more likely to affect the area where the long tube (esophagus) that carries food you swallow meets the stomach. This area is called the gastroesophageal junction.
What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?
Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer may include