Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek announced he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, in a video posted to YouTube.
The 78-year-old has hosted the popular game show since 1984, USA Today reported.
In the video, Trebek said he made the public statement as part of his “longtime policy of being open and transparent with (the) Jeopardy! fan base.”
“This week I was diagnosed with stage 4 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 for this disease.”
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Trebek had brain surgery in December 2017 and last October extended his contract to host the game show through 2022, according to Gray News.
He is using that pact to motivate a recovery.
“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. Thank you,” Trebek said in the video.
During his career, where he has hosted a Guinness World Record number of episodes of the quiz show (close to 8,000), Trebek has been honored with five Daytime Emmy awards for Outstanding Game Show Host, and “a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences,” according to his bio on Jeopardy’s website. The Canadian from Sudbury, Ontario has also been enshrined in multiple halls of fame and received a Peabody Award.
Trebek and his wife Jean have two adult children — Emily and Matthew, according to Jeopardy’s website.
“If anyone can beat this it’s Alex,” Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins said in a statement,CNN reported. “He has our full support as he tackles this challenge head-on.”
A stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis means the cancer has spread, according to Healthline. “You can’t cure the cancer at this point, but you still have treatment options.”
There is a 9 percent survival rate, over a five-year period, for a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis, the American Cancer Society reported. That percentage can rise or fall, depending if the cancer has spread to other organs, among other factors.
“Jeopardy!” averages 23 million viewers each week, making it “the top-rated quiz show on television,” according to a news release.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.