Alex Trebek, who has hosted the Jeopardy! game show since 1984, announced Wednesday in a video that he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

“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,” said Trebek in the video. “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.”

Stage 4 pancreatic cancer is inoperable, and patients diagnosed with it die within five years of diagnosis. The risk of pancreatic cancer increases with age, with most people diagnosed after the age of 65. Trebek is 78.

Trebek acknowledged the low survival rate for pancreatic cancer, but said, “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.”

He previously suffered a subdural hematoma in late 2017 and took time off from the show as he underwent brain surgery. He also has had two heart attacks.

Trebek thought he would retire in 2020, but his contract as Jeopardy! host ended up being renewed until 2022.

Trebek joked the reason he wants to survive is because he has three years left on his contract.


“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.”

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