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Vanna White Gives an Update on Alex Trebek’s Cancer Battle: ‘He’s Got a Very Positive Attitude’ (Exclusive)

Vanna White Gives an Update on Alex Trebek’s Cancer Battle
Vanna White and Alex Trebek. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Alex Trebek is a trooper. Vanna White shared a promising update on her longtime friend’s battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer.

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“He’s doing good. He really is,” the Wheel of Fortune hostess, 62, told Us Weekly exclusively on Tuesday, December 10, after being named the godmother of Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Panorama. “He looks good. I talked to him recently and he’s got a very positive attitude.”

White — who is temporarily hosting Wheel after Pat Sajak’s recent surgery — explained that she particularly admires Trebek’s bravery and candor with Jeopardy! viewers as he fights the disease.

“I love that he’s honest and open with his fans, because he’s been doing the show for a very long time also and feels very connected to all of his fans and viewers,” she told Us. “He is definitely keeping everybody updated on how he’s doing, and I am so proud of him. He’s still working, he’s obviously doing chemotherapy but working through it, and has that strong will to, as we say, the show must go on.”

Vanna White Gives an Update on Alex Trebek’s Cancer Battle
Vanna White Carnival Cruise Line

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Trebek, 79, announced his cancer diagnosis in March, saying in a video message that he was determined to “fight this and … keep working.” He underwent chemotherapy and returned to work in August. However, he revealed on Good Morning America in September that he had to “undergo chemo again.”

The game show host, who has led Jeopardy! since its syndicated version premiered in 1984, has tried to keep a positive outlook about his future on TV. Through it all, he has been open about his symptoms.

“I talk to the producers about this all the time now. I say, ‘Look, I’m slurring my words. My tongue doesn’t work as much, as well as it used to. The chemo has caused sores inside my mouth. It makes it difficult for me to speak and enunciate properly,’” he said on the Canadian news program W5 in October. “They say, ‘Well, we don’t notice.’ I notice those things. And I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience who notice also.”

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As his battle wages, Trebek has said that he does not fear the worst. “I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life,” he told W5. “If it happens, why should I be afraid that?”

With reporting by Marc Lupo

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