Is ‘Jeopardy’ Host Alex Trebek’s Cancer Terminal?

Alex Trebek terminal


On Wednesday, March 6, Alex Trebek revealed that he has been diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. Despite the Jeopardy host’s optimism, many people found themselves wondering if his condition is terminal and if he’s going to die.

While Trebek seems to have a fight in him, there is no cure for Stage IV pancreatic cancer and Trebek’s prognosis is not good.

Here’s what you need to know:

Trebek Joked That He Has 3 Years Left on His ‘Jeopardy’ Contract & Is Determined to ‘Fight’

A Message From Alex Trebek | JEOPARDY!"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…2019-03-06T22:03:32.000Z

Trebek seemed to be in good spirits in his video announcement, despite being given the devastating news. He remained calm and composed as he shared his diagnosis with the world.

“Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with Stage IV 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 of this disease,” Trebek said.

He then joked about having to live because he has three more years on his Jeopardy contract.

You can watch his full announcement in the video above.

Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer Indicates That Other Organs Are Affected

Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer survival rates


Annually, more than 50,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. For some, the cancer is treatable, but for others — who are diagnosed with an advanced stage like Trebek — it is not.

Stage IV indicates that the cancer has metastasized — that is, the disease has spread to other organs in the body. In patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the most commonly affected organs are the lungs and liver. It is unclear which of Trebek’s organs have been affected.

“These cancers have spread too much to be removed by surgery. Even when imaging tests show that the spread is only to one other part of the body, it is often assumed that small groups of cancer cells (too small to be seen on imaging tests) have already reached other organs of the body,” reports the American Cancer Society.

Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer Is Terminal With a Median Survival Rate of 2 to 6 Months

Will Alex Trebek die?


Pancreatic cancer is one of the hardest cancers to detect. Often times, when a patient starts showcasing symptoms, this type of cancer has already progressed to a more advanced stage.

“The prognosis is such that most of these people will have passed by the end of the first year,” reports Pancreatica. “The median survival duration from the time of diagnosis until demise is arguably the worst of any of the cancers – certainly of the major cancers. The median survival for untreated advanced pancreatic cancer is about 3 1/2 months; with good treatment, this increases to about eight months, though many will live much longer. We have encountered nine and eleven and twelve-year survivors.”

There are ways to treat pancreatic cancer, but not to cure it. Trebek’s doctors may have him start chemotherapy, which is the most common form of treatment in this advanced stage.

“Chemotherapy is the main treatment for these cancers. It can sometimes shrink or slow the growth of these cancers for a time and might help people live longer, but it is not expected to cure the cancer. Gemcitabine is the drug used most often. It can be used alone (especially for people in poor health), or it can be combined with other drugs like albumin-bound paclitaxel (Abraxane), erlotinib (Tarceva), or capecitabine (Xeloda),” according to the American Cancer Society.

READ NEXT: Meet Alex Trebek’s Wife Jean Currivan

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