Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Trebek released the following statement to the public Wednesday afternoon:
“Hi everyone, I have some news to share with all of you and it’s in keeping with my longtime policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy! fan base. I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health. So therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information.
Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, 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 and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease. 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. Thank you.”
Trebek has been the host of Jeopardy! since 1984. He’s won five Daytime Emmy awards for Outstanding Game Show Host and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Trebek is originally from Canada but now lives in Los Angeles. For a time, he owned a horse farm in Creston.
According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, an organization that supports pancreatic cancer patients and research, more than 56,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2019. It’s the ninth most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and tenth most commonly diagnosed in men. However, those diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease have a very low survival rate.
Stage 4 means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Pancreatic cancer often spreads to the liver, abdominal wall, lungs, and lymph nodes.
Pancreatic cancer can be difficult to detect because the pancreas is located deep in the abdomen and its exact causes are not completely clear. Some risk factors include diabetes, smoking, diets high in red and processed meats, and obesity.
Symptoms include pain in the upper abdomen and back, loss of appetite and weight loss, jaundice, nausea, blood clots, enlargement of the gallbladder or liver, fatigue, and depression.
Standard treatments for pancreatic cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Surgery can be invasive, again because of the location of the pancreas.