Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek revealed Wednesday that he was diagnosed this week with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“Hi everyone, I have some news to share with all of you,” Trebek began in a video announcement (above). “It’s in keeping with my policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy! fanbase. I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health. So therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information.”
Trebek continued, “Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m gonna fight this. I’m gonna 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 be told, I have to. 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 already started to receive encouragement, both from YouTube commenters and peers including Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak.
“The Sajak family is deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s struggle with cancer,” Sajak wrote on Twitter. “Our hearts go out to him and his family. But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him. We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex.”
Fan-favorite Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings, who returned to the show this week for an “All-Star Games” installment, summarized Trebek’s cultural greatness: “I’ve said this before but Alex Trebek is in a way the last Cronkite: authoritative, reassuring TV voice you hear every night, almost to the point of ritual.”
Trebek released a similar video message with a health update last winter. After suffering a fall in late 2017, Trebek was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma. He took a brief hiatus from taping Jeopardy! to get surgery, but returned to work the following January.
Watch Trebek’s full video above.