Alex Trebek revealed that he is suffering from stage IV pancreatic cancer, but he is prepared to fight the illness.
“Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer,” the Jeopardy! host, 78, announced in a YouTube video on Wednesday, March 6. “Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m gonna fight this and I’m gonna keep working and with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”
He added: “Truth told, I have to because, under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years. So help me! Keep the faith, and we’ll win. We’ll get it done.”
Trebek attributed sharing the news himself to his “longtime policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy! fanbase.”
Pat Sajak offered his support via Twitter. “The Sajak family is deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s struggle with cancer. Our hearts go out to him and his family,” the Wheel of Fortune host, 72, tweeted on Wednesday. “But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him. We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex.”
Trebek has survived several health scares. The game show mainstay suffered two minor heart attacks in December 2007 and June 2012.
He later took a leave of absence from Jeopardy! in January 2018 after undergoing brain surgery the month before. “Some of you may have heard by now that during the holiday break, I had a slight medical problem — a subdural hematoma, blood clots on the brain, caused by a fall I endured about two months ago,” he told fans in a video at the time. “Surgery was performed. After two days in the hospital, I came home to start recovery. Prognosis is excellent, and I expect to be back in the studio and taping more Jeopardy! programs very, very soon.”
The TV host revealed in July 2018 that his chances of staying on the game show after his contract ended were “50-50 and a little less.” He also suggested Los Angeles Kings announcer Alex Faust and attorney Laura Coates as possible replacements.