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Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek gives one-year update on his battle against cancer

“Giving up would have been a betrayal.”

Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek gave a one-year update to fans about his battle with pancreatic cancer. Trebek, who has been hosting Jeopardy! for over 35 years, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019, and has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

Today, Trebek posted a video directed towards fans and other survivors. As he notes in the video, many other people afflicted with cancer have looked to him as “an inspiration, and a cheerleader of sorts of the value of living and hope.”

The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer is 18%; the two-year survival rate is 7%, Trebek said in the video. Despite these harrowing odds, Trebek gave an inspiring and touching video update. While he admits that there have been “not so good days” that led him to question whether treatment was worth it, his tone remained positive.

“My oncologist tried to cheer me up the other day,” he said. “He said, ‘Alex, even though the two-year survival rate is only 7%, the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating the second anniversary of survival.’”

When Trebek was originally diagnosed, he released a statement that, in part, read: “I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease. 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. Thank you.”

Jeopardy! has continued with Trebek at the helm since his diagnosis; there was a massive all-star tournament to celebrate the show’s 35th anniversary that brought back former champions like Ken Jennings.

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