Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek on Wednesday gave an update on his condition one year after a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis, opening up about the immense pain he’s overcome during his treatment.
“The one year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18 percent. I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker,” Trebek said in a video. “Now I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one. There were some good days, but a lot of not-so-good days."
The game show host said he joked with friends that the cancer wouldn’t be what killed him — the chemo treatments would.
“There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on,” Trebek, 79, said.
“But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal — a betrayal of my wife and soulmate, Jean, who has given her all to help me survive," he continued.
He added that it also would have been a betrayal to other cancer patients looking to him as an “inspiration and a cheerleader” to value life and hope.
“And it certainly would have been a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf,” Trebek said.
His oncologist noted to him that the two-year survival rate is only 7 percent, but Trebek said the specialist is certain that they will be celebrating his survival again next year.
Trebek told viewers that if they take struggles “one day at a time with a positive attitude, anything is possible."
“I’ll keep you posted,” he concluded.
A one-year update from Alex: pic.twitter.com/W9101suZeZ— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) March 4, 2020
However, he resumed chemotherapy in September and is open to trying an experimental cancer treatment.
“I don’t mind experimenting. I’ve got nothing to lose, so let’s go for it,” he said in December.
Despite the diagnosis, Trebek has vowed to remain the host of “Jeopardy!” until his skills “diminish.”
"Jeopardy!" attracts more than 10 million viewers per night, making it the most popular among all syndicated shows.
Trebek, who has hosted the show since 1984, was in the news this week for making a $100,000 donation to a Southern California homelessness nonprofit.