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One year after pancreatic cancer diagnosis, 'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek shares inspirational update

'I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one'
Alex Trebek
Posted at 11:36 AM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 11:36:34-05

One year after his initial pancreatic cancer diagnosis, of which there is an 18% one-year survival rate for stage 4 patients, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek gave an inspirational update on the show’s YouTube channel.

“I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one,” Trebek said. “There were some good days, but a lot of not so good days. I joked with friends that the cancer won’t kill me, the chemo treatments will. There were moments of great pain, days where certain bodily functions no longer functioned, and sudden massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it was really worth fighting on.”

But Trebek didn’t give up, he said, because doing so would have been “a massive betrayal” of his wife, other cancer patients who looked to him for inspiration, and his faith in God and the millions of prayers said on his behalf.

Since he initially announced his cancer diagnosis last March, Trebek has kept viewers posted, providing frequent updates, including the end of his four months of chemotherapy treatments in August of last year ahead of his return to host “Jeopardy!” in September. He continued to tape episodes for the previous season even as he underwent treatments in the spring.

At the time, he quipped that "I have to" beat the disease "because under the terms of my contract, I have to host 'Jeopardy!' for three more years."

Although he told ABC News in October that his cancer was in “near remission” at one point, his cancer returned and underwent chemotherapy again.

"We may try a new protocol, a different chemo or something in the trial stage that is not chemotherapy," he said, adding, "I don't mind experimenting. I've got nothing to lose, so let's go for it."

In his most recent update, Trebek shared a story of his recent meeting with his oncologist: even though the two-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer is only 7%, he was certain the two would be celebrating Trebek’s second survival anniversary.

“You know something? If I – no, if we, because so many of us are involved in this situation — if we take it just one day at a time with a positive attitude, anything is possible,” Trebek said. “I’ll keep you posted.”