Alex Trebek celebrated a new milestone with his health today in a video posted by the Jeopardy! twitter page. The game-show host has survived one year into his treatment for pancreatic cancer. The one-year survival rate for the diagnosis is just 18 percent.
Alex Trebek announced that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019. In May, he announced that his treatment was going well and his tumors had shrunk by over 50 percent. Unfortunately, by September 2019, those numbers were up again and he had to continue treatment.
He has said he will continue hosting Jeopardy! until his skills diminish to a point where he feels like he can no longer host.
“The one year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18 percent,” Trebek stated in the new video. “I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker. Now I’d be lying if I said the journey was an easy one. There were some good days but a lot of not-so-good days.”
He said he joked with his friends that if the cancer didn’t kill him, then the chemo would. Read on to learn more about Trebek’s health update.
Trebek Said He Almost Gave Up
Trebek previously stated during an ABC News special that one of the side effects he experienced while undergoing chemotherapy was depression. He said that his oncologist told him that one of his symptoms could be those moments of depression.
Things haven’t changed much for Trebek when it comes to those moments of depression one year into his treatment, according to the new video.
“There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned, and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on,” the 79-year-old said. “But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal.”
He said giving up would be a betrayal of his wife Jean and of other cancer patients who have looked to Trebek as an inspiration, and a betrayal of his faith in God and the “millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf.”
Fans have sent Trebek well-wishes and gifts since first hearing of his diagnosis. In previous updates, he’s thanked fans for all the cards and letters. There was also a moment where he teared up after a Jeopardy! contestant wrote “What is We love you, Alex” during Final Jeopardy instead of answering the question.
He Said He Was Taking Things One Day at a Time
The two-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer, according to the video, is just seven percent, but Trebek’s doctor said he was confident they could be sitting in the same room one year down the road celebrating Trebek’s two-year survival of the diagnosis.
“And you know something, if I, no, if we, because so many of us are involved in this same situation, if we take it just one day at a time, with a positive attitude, anything is possible,” he said.
He said he’d keep fans and viewers posted when it comes to his health. For now, though, Trebek continues to host Jeopardy! each weekday.