Alex Trebek Says Cancer Treatments ‘Paying Off’

By EJ Mundell

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY July 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Fans of “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek received a health update for the first time in months Thursday when he told his subscribers that his treatments against pancreatic cancer were “paid”.

“I’m fine,” said the 79-year-old host in a video recorded at his home. “I continued my treatment and it is bearing fruit, even if it tires me a lot. My numbers are good. I feel good.”

Trebek also took the opportunity to tell fans that he has written a book called The answer is… Reflections on my life, which will be released on July 21. He also announced plans to return to the studio to film new episodes of his hugely popular game show in September. The shooting of the program was interrupted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trebek announced for the first time that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019. Through several cycles of chemotherapy, he has kept fans of the show informed of his progress. He beat the 18-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients in March, which is only 18%, CBS News reported.

In October, Trebek partnered with the World Coalition Against Pancreatic Cancer to publish a public service announcement aimed at raising awareness about the deadly disease.

The goal was “to contribute to a global awareness of the risks and symptoms of pancreatic cancer,” Trebek said at the time.

“I wish I had known earlier that the persistent stomach pain I experienced before my diagnosis was a symptom of pancreatic cancer,” he noted in the one-minute video. “Other common symptoms may include mid-back pain, unexplained weight loss, new diabetes, and yellowing of the skin or eyes.”

It has been a difficult road for Trebek since he announced his diagnosis for the first time.

Two months later, he and his doctors announced that he seemed to be winning his battle against the disease.

“It’s a bit mind-boggling,” said Trebek People at the time. Even though the overall survival rate for pancreatic cancer is only 9%, Trebek has responded well to chemotherapy.


“The doctors said they had not seen this kind of positive result in their memories – some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50%,” he told the magazine.

At the end of August 2019, Trebek seemed to be doing so well that he resumed the recording of the 35th season of “Jeopardy!”

But his health got worse again.

“Yep, [I] went as far as figures that correspond to a normal human being without cancer, “he told CTV at the time.”[But] then suddenly it exploded and went 50% higher than when it was first diagnosed. Go figure. “So Trebek resumed chemotherapy in September 2019.

Trebek credits the warmth and support of fans for all the breakthroughs he has made against cancer.

“I have a few million people who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed to me and their prayers,” he said. People. “I told the doctors that it had to be more than chemo, and they agreed that it could very well be an important part of that.”

Because it is so often asymptomatic until it reaches an advanced stage, pancreatic cancer has a high mortality rate. According to the American Cancer Society, about 57,600 Americans will be diagnosed with the disease in 2020, and the disease is expected to cost more than 47,000 lives.

In addition, pancreatic tumors are particularly aggressive “because of a mutational profile that makes it resistant to therapies that work better for other types of tumors,” said Dr. Angela Alistar. She directs gastrointestinal medical oncology at the Morristown Medical Center, in Morristown, NJ

Trebek is philosophical about his chances and said that he was not afraid of death.

“I’m not afraid of dying,” the 79-year-old woman told CTV. “I lived a good life, a busy life, and I’m nearing the end of this life – if it happens, why should I be afraid of it? Something they won’t say at my funeral, as part of a funeral eulogy, is “He was taken from us too soon.” “


Born in 1940 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, Trebek was initially a television journalist before hosting a Canadian quiz show, “Reach for the Top”. This led to being hired to host American game shows such as NBC’s “The Wizard of Odds” in 1973 and “The 128,000 Question”, before moving on to “Jeopardy!” a decade later.

He has served as a spokesperson for charities such as World Vision and Smile Train, and has entertained troops on numerous USO tours.

Trebek married twice – to Elaine Callei in 1974 (the marriage lasted seven years) and then to Jean Currivan in 1990, with whom he has two children, Emily and Matthew.

HealthDay WebMD News


World Coalition Against Pancreatic Cancer PSA; October 4, 2019, CTV; August 29, 2019, NBC News; March 29, 2019, People; Angela Alistar, MD, Director, Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, Morristown Medical Center, Morristown, NJ

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