Alex Trebek has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, the “Jeopardy!” host announced on Wednesday.
“Normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging but I’m going to fight this,” the host said in a video announcing his diagnosis, which was posted to the game show’s social media channels. “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.”
According to the American Cancer Society, Stage 4 pancreatic cancer (meaning the disease has spread to other parts of the body such as the lungs, liver or bones) has a 5-year survival rate of around three percent.
“Truth told, I have to, because under the terms of my contract, I have to host ‘Jeopardy!’ for three more years,” he said. “So help me, keep the faith, and we’ll win. We’ll get it done.”
The news comes just months after Trebek renewed his contract with Sony Pictures Television to stay on as host of “Jeopardy!” through 2022.
“If anyone can beat this it’s Alex. He has our full support as he tackles this challenge head-on,” Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins said.
Trebek previously took some time off from the show in late 2017 after undergoing surgery to remove blood clots from his brain. He made a full recovery and returned to the program within weeks. He has served as host of the syndicated trivia game show since its revival in 1984.
Watch Trebek’s announcement below.
A Message from Alex Trebek: pic.twitter.com/LbxcIyeTCF
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) March 6, 2019