What is gastric cancer? Symptoms explored as Washington Post editor Neema Roshania Patel dies aged 35

Neema Roshania Patel was born to immigrant parents from India. (Image via @LiiiisaRajala/Twitter)
Neema Roshania Patel was born to immigrant parents from India. (Image via @LiiiisaRajala/Twitter)

Washington Post editor Neema Roshania Patel passed away in Washington at the age of 35 due to gastric cancer.

The publication announced the news on October 25, and mentioned that Patel was the founding editor of the Washington Post's millennial women's site, The Lily.

Neema Roshania Patel first joined the Washington Post in 2016 as a digital editor. After serving on The Lily for four years, she started working with the Next Generation audience development team as an editor.

All you need to know about gastric cancer that Neema Roshania Patel was battling with

As per the National Cancer Institute, gastric or stomach cancer occurs when cells begin to grow in the lining of the stomach.

The Mayo Clinic website states several signs and symptoms of gastric cancer:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Feeling bloated after eating
  • Belly pain
  • Not feeling hungry when you would expect to be hungry
  • Indigestion
  • Stools that look black
  • Feeling full after eating small amounts of food
  • Vomiting
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Feeling very tired

The website also mentions that treatment for gastric cancer is most likely to be a success if the cancer has not spread to other body parts other than the stomach. However, the symptoms do not occur in the early stages and may not happen until the cancer has advanced.


Born on September 28, 1987, Neema Roshania Patel was a native of Maplewood, New Jersey. Her parents were immigrants from India. Her father, Prabhu Roshania, worked as an electrical engineer for Metallix, while her mother, Mira Roshania, worked as an accounts manager in the same firm.

She graduated from Rutgers University in 2009 with a degree in economics and journalism. She did internships with CNBC and NJBIZ before spending some years as a writer and researcher in Washington. She also served as a community news editor with Philadelphia's public radio station, WHYY.

The Los Angeles Times editor, Amy King, took to her Twitter handle to mourn Patel's death. In a tweet thread, she wrote:

"Out of the two of us, Neema was always the one who did the tweeting, but here goes: We lost a gem. Our sun. We are all heartbroken."

King, who is The Lily’s founding editor-in-chief, further added:

"Making something beautiful and important for the communities we hope to create and amplify as journalists has to start with creating a beautiful community internally, and that was what made Neema and Team Lily special. Neema loved her team and we loved her."

Phoebe Connelly, senior editor of Next Generation, also recalled Patel's dedication to work in an email to The Washington Post. She wrote:

“What stood out immediately was her desire to collaborate — to take what she had learned running The Lily and infuse it into every department, every article and every project.”

Neema Roshania Patel tied the knot with her husband, Akshar Patel, in 2014. They share one son, Abhiraj Patel.

She is survived by her husband, son, her parents, and sister.

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Edited by Somava