Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek shocked the world in March when he announced he had been diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. He shocked it again on Wednesday with a great report from his doctors.
Trebek tells People his physicians say he is “near remission” and some of the tumors have shrunk more than 50% after treatment.
“It’s kind of mind boggling,” says Trebek.
Pancreatic cancer is an especially deadly form of the disease. Just 3% of patients with stage IV pancreatic cancer are alive 5 years after being diagnosed, 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.)
The 78-year-old host, though, says he is drawing strength from the support of friends and fans. He acknowledges he is not yet out of the woods and says he still has several more rounds of chemo to go through.
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.
Trebek initially addressed the diagnosis on YouTube, which is becoming one of his go-to platforms to discuss health issues. 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.