Alex Trebek celebrates health one year after cancer diagnosis

The "Jeopardy!" host said that achieving this milestone involved a combination of "good" and "bad" days.
Image: Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek on the "Jeopardy!" show.Eric McCandless / ABC via Getty Images file

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By Gwen Aviles

"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek shared a health update, exactly one year after revealing his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

"The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18 percent," Trebek, 79, said in a video posted to social media. "I'm very happy to report I've just reached that marker."

The game show host added that achieving this milestone involved a combination of "good" and "bad" days.

"I'd joke with friends, 'the cancer won't kill me; the chemo treatments will,'" Trebek said. "There were moments of great pain, days where certain bodily functions no longer functioned and sudden, massive attacks of great depression made me wonder if it was really worth fighting on."

Yet, Trebek said, he was inspired to forge ahead because of his family, fans and faith.

Though the two-year survival rate of stage 4 pancreatic cancer is 7 percent, he said he and his oncologist are confident that they will be sitting together in the doctor's office this time next year celebrating another anniversary.

"If we take it just one day at a time with a positive attitude, anything is possible," Trebek said.

Since revealing his diagnosis, Trebek has worked to bring greater awareness to pancreatic cancer. In October, he released a 60-second public service announcement in support of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, in which he detailed the risks and the symptoms of the disease.

In the PSA, he said symptoms can include new onset diabetes, unexplained weight loss, the yellowing of the skin or eyes and midback pain.

“I wished I had known sooner that the persistent stomach pain I experienced prior to my diagnosis was a symptom of pancreatic cancer," he said.

Trebek, who has been the host of "Jeopardy!" since 1984, said he plans to continue working as long as he is able to do so. He has also recently become known for his work aiding Los Angeles' homeless community through a $100,000 donation to the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, a nonprofit organization that aims to eliminate poverty and homelessness in the city.