Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
The TV personality announced the news Wednesday, addressing fans in a brief video posted on the game show’s YouTube channel.
“Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging,” Trebek said. “But I’m going to fight this. And I’m going to keep working, and with the love and support of my family and friends, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 56,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, and about 45,000 of them will die from the often-terminal illness. Trebek’s Stage 4 diagnosis means that the cancer has advanced and spread to other parts of his body.
But the 78-year-old insisted that he has to beat it, joking that under the terms of his contract, he has to host the trivia show for three more years.
“So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done,” he added.
The Canadian-born, Emmy-winning host has become an American institution since taking the helm of the syndicated game show in 1984. Trebek has been contemplating retirement for some time and last took leave from the series in 2018 after undergoing surgery to remove a subdural hematoma from his brain.
He made a snappy recovery, however, returning to his job less than a month later.
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