Alex Trebek gives positive update about pancreatic cancer treatment

‘I’m feeling great’: Alex Trebek gives positive update about his pancreatic cancer treatment ahead of Jeopardy host’s 80th birthday

  • The legendary television host – who turns 80 next week – announced the news via video message posted Thursday as he sported a new goatee 
  • Things certainly seem to be trending up as Trebek celebrated beating the one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients with a heartfelt video shared to his legions of fans back in March
  • The famed host admitted that his journey hasn’t been easy and he’s battled with bouts of ‘great depression ‘ through the process 
  • In March 2019, the longtime host of Jeopardy!, revealed he had stage 4 of the disease, and that the prognosis was ‘not very encouraging’ 

Jeopardy host Alex Trebek gave a positive update on his battle with pancreatic cancer.

The legendary television personality – who turns 80 next week – announced the encouraging news via a video message posted on Thursday.

He sported a new goatee as he said: ‘I’d also like to take this opportunity to give you a quick health update. 

Icon: Jeopardy host Alex Trebek gave a positive update on his battle with pancreatic cancer

‘I’m doing well, I’ve been continuing my treatment, and it is paying off, though it does fatigue me a great deal. My numbers are good, I’m feeling great.’

Things certainly seem to be trending up as Trebek celebrated beating the one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients with a heartfelt video shared to his legions of fans back in March.

The famed host admitted that his journey hasn’t been easy and he’s battled with bouts of ‘great depression’ through the process.

Positive news: The legendary television personality – who turns 80 next week – announced the encouraging news via a video message posted on Thursday

Trending up: He sported a new goatee as he said: ‘I’d also like to take this opportunity to give you a quick health update’

‘I’m doing well, I’ve been continuing my treatment, and it is paying off, though it does fatigue me a great deal. My numbers are good, I’m feeling great’: He said

He remained optimistic about reaching two years of recovery, though, with support from his wife and ‘soulmate’ Jean, in addition to the ‘millions of prayers’ sent from well-wishers around the world. 

‘The one year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18 percent,’ he said. ‘I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker.’ 

In March 2019, the longtime host of Jeopardy!, revealed he had stage 4 of the disease, and that the prognosis was ‘not very encouraging’. 

‘I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one,’ he admitted. ‘There were some good days but a lot of not so good days. I joked with friends that cancer won’t kill me, the chemo treatments will. 

Impressive: Trebek celebrated beating the one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients with a heartfelt video shared to his legions of fans back in March

‘I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one,’ he admitted. ‘There were some good days but a lot of not so good days. I joked with friends that cancer won’t kill me, the chemo treatments will’

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.’

Trebek did his best to release the challenging feelings surrounding his serious illness and focused on staying positive. 

‘I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal, a betrayal of my wife and soulmate Jean who has given her all to help me survive,’ he said.

‘I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal, a betrayal of my wife and soulmate Jean who has given her all to help me survive,’ he said.

Alex has been married to real estate project manager Jean Currivan since 1990 and the couple has two children together, Matthew and Emily.  

In a video posted to the World Pancreatic Cancer Day YouTube page back in November, Trebek talked about the symptoms he dealt with.

Pancreatic cancer is notoriously lethal because its signs are vague, and rarely appear until late stages when the cancer has spread far, making it harder to treat. 

Statement: In a video posted to the World Pancreatic Cancer Day YouTube page back in November, Trebek talked about the symptoms he dealt with

‘I wished I had known sooner that the persistent stomach pain I experienced prior to my diagnosis was a symptom of pancreatic cancer,’ Trebek says in the clip.

‘Other common symptoms can include mid-back pain, unexplained weight loss, new onset diabetes and the yellowing of the skin or eyes.’   

Trebek says he decided to join forces with the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition to make the PSA because ‘more attention and awareness are needed’ to help patients ‘fight and survive this disease.’


In the clip, Trebek (left and right) discussed the signs and symptoms of the disease and said he ‘wished he had known sooner’. He asked viewers to wear purple in November and spread awareness on social media

He asked viewers ‘to join me in this fight’ by wearing purple in November and ‘spreading the word on social media’.

He ends by saying: ”Together, we can get it done.’ 

Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas, a large gland in the digestive system.

It typically doesn’t show symptoms in the early stages. Sufferers tend to develop signs, such as back pain and jaundice, when it has spread to other organs. 

Less than seven percent of patients survive five years, which means pancreatic cancer has one of the worst survival rates of all common cancers. 

Trebek revealed he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in a video message posted to YouTube in March 2019. Pictured: Trebek holds the award for outstanding game show host at the Daytime Emmy Awards in April 2006

WHAT IS PANCREATIC CANCER?

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal forms of the disease. Around 95 percent of people who contract it die from it.  

Joan Crawford, Patrick Swayze and Luciano Pavarotti all died of pancreatic cancer. 

It is the fourth-leading killer in the United States. Around 10,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in the UK, and 50,000 in the US.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE? 

It is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas – a large gland in the digestive system.

WHO HAS THE HIGHEST RISK?

Most cases (90 percent) are in people over the age of 55. Around half of all new cases occur in people aged 75 or older. One in 10 cases are attributed to genetics.

Other causes include age, smoking and other health conditions, including diabetes. About 80 percent of pancreatic cancer patients have some form of diabetes. 

WHY IS IT SO LETHAL?

There is no screening method for pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer typically does not show symptoms in the early stages, when it would be more manageable. 

Sufferers tend to start developing the tell-tale signs – jaundice and abdominal pain – around stage 3 or 4, when it has likely already spread to other organs. 

WHAT ARE THE SURVIVAL RATES? 

For all stages of pancreatic cancer combined, the one-year survival rate is 20 percent. At five years, that rate falls to just nine percent. 

If the cancer is caught in stage 1A, the five year survival rates is about 14 percent and 12 percent for 1B. 

At stage 2, those rates are seven and five percent, respectively. For a pancreatic cancer in its third stage, only three percent of people will survive another five years. 

By stage IV, the five-year survival rate falls to just one percent.  

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS? 

The only effective treatment is removal of the pancreas. This proves largely ineffective for those whose cancer has spread to other organs. In those cases, palliative care is advised to ease their pain at the end of their life.  

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