LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek announced Wednesday his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer, but pledged to “keep working”.
Trebek, 78, made the announcement on the official Jeopardy Twitter account.
“Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” Trebek said. “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,” he joked. “So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
Pancreatic cancers is one of the most-aggressive cancers and one with one of the lowest survival rates. The cancer claimed the lives of such celebrities as Aretha Franklin, Patrick Swayze, Steve Jobs, Donna Reed and Michael Landon.
Dr. Ronald Tang of the Dorothy Leavy Cancer Center in Northridge acknowledges that Trebek is going to have a difficult fight on his hands.
“From diagnosis, patients usually have less than six months to live,” Tang said.
The cancer isn’t just hard to treat, initially it’s even hard to locate
“By the time the patient developed some kind of symptoms — abdominal pain, chronic abdominal pain, weight loss, Fatigue, that means the cancer is pretty advanced already,” Tang says.
Trebek, a native of Canada, has hosted the popular trivia game show since 1984. His other hosting credits include “Classic Concentration,” “Card Sharks,” “The Wizard of Odds” and “Double Dare.”