The host of Sony Pictures Television’s Jeopardy! since its debut in 1984, Alex Trebek posted a YouTube video on Wednesday to tell fans that he has been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer.
Ever the understated optimist—he is, after all, Canadian—Trebek made it clear that, dire as the diagnosis may be, he will do all he can to keep the cancer from having its way with him. He also has no plans to step away from the show he loves hosting. “Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working,” Trebek said.
Trebek’s fans (and fellow game show hosts) took to YouTube comments and Twitter to show him support.
Cancer staging details “how much cancer is in a person’s body and where it’s located,” according to the American Cancer Society. Stage IV means that, at the time of diagnosis, a cancer has already metastasized or spread, beyond the initial cancer. Stage IV pancreatic cancer is usually treated by chemotherapy.
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer may include pain in the abdomen or back, weight loss, jaundice, nausea, pancreatitis, and/or recent-onset diabetes. More than 56,000 American are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, according to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
This isn’t Trebek’s first go-around with being “open and transparent” about health issues via video. In 2018, Trebek posted a video after a “slight medical problem.” After a fall two months earlier, he had blood clots removed from his brain.
Trebek has won five Daytime Emmy awards for Outstanding Game Show Host for his smart, charming, and often humorous work on Jeopardy!