Alex Trebek reveals cancer diagnosis

Alex Trebek reveals cancer diagnosis

Erik Hultgren, Senior Reporter

On March 6, 2019, Alex Trebek, the beloved host of ABC’s Jeopardy!  announced that he has been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.

Trebek—-who has hosted the show since 1984—-is currently seventy-eight years old and under contract to host until 2022. While his diagnosis is considered to be very serious, with a survival chance of just 8.5%, Trebek remains optimistic that with the help of his friends, family, and his millions of fans he will be able to beat the odds.

Using humor to cope with an undoubtedly somber situation, Trebek said about his survival:

“Truth told, I have to! Because 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.”

While facing a disease that the American Cancer Society claims to account for 7% of all cancer-related deaths may be daunting, it is not the first time that Trebek has bravely dealt with adversity in his health.

According to NPR’s James Doubek, “He suffered a subdural hematoma in late 2017 and took time off from the show to recover from brain surgery. Trebek has also had two heart attacks.”

Trebek has taken complications in stride in the past, and lived to tell the tale. As a staple of American television for over thirty years, his fans hope and pray that he will be able to do the same this time around.

Ken Jennings, a former Jeopardy! contestant who owns the title of most wins on the show was very complimentary of the ailing host, calling him “in a way the last Cronkite: authoritative, reassuring TV voice you hear every night, almost to the point of ritual.”

He also added,  “One thing I know for a fact: Alex is very aware of how much he means to millions of people, and how we will be pulling for him … I hope that’s a comfort.”


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