Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Trebek, 78, announced the news in a pre-recorded video posted to YouTube. He said he intends to continue working as he receives treatment, 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.”
“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,” Trebek said to begin his video message. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Trebek concluded the video in a light-hearted matter, joking that his new Jeopardy! contract has left him no choice but to beat the disease. “Truth told, I have to, because under the terms of my contract I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years,” he quipped, before adding, “Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
Trebek has hosted Jeopardy! since 1984. Despite rumors that he planned to retire, in October 2018 the Canadian native renewed his contract through 2022.