Lifestyle & Human Interest

Alex Trebek Shares Emotional Video About Pancreatic Cancer: 'I Wish I Had Known Sooner'


Only a few months after his own diagnosis, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek released a “global PSA” to raise awareness about the symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

The 79-year-old host was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March and has been extremely open with his fans about his health status since then.

In September, he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that his cancer numbers had “skyrocketed” and that he would need to undergo more chemotherapy.

Those rounds of chemotherapy, however, caused minor sores in his mouth.

Trebek told Canada’s CTV News in early October that the sores were beginning to affect his ability to enunciate words as well as he did in the past.

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“I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” he said. “But there will come a point when they [fans and producers] will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s OK.’”

Even though Trebek hopes to keep his promise of fighting his cancer and continuing to host “Jeopardy!,” the side effects of his treatments might force him to reconsider.

In a recent video uploaded to YouTube, Trebek shared the devastating realities many people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer face.

“In nearly every country, pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a five-year survival rate in the single digits,” he said.

“Now in order to help patients fight and survive this disease, more attention and awareness are needed,” Trebek said. “And that’s why I’ve joined forces with the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, to help raise global awareness of the risks and symptoms of pancreatic cancer.”

The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition helps raise awareness about pancreatic cancer in hopes of encouraging people to recognize the symptoms and get diagnosed earlier.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of pancreatic cancer can include pain in the abdomen, loss of appetite, depression, new-onset diabetes, yellowing of the skin and fatigue.

It is often not detected until it has become more advanced, which is what makes this particular kind of cancer so deadly.

Trebek said he experienced abdominal pain prior to his diagnosis.

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

The beloved host then asked his fans to participate in Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in November by wearing purple and helping spread awareness.

Dr. Mehmet Oz told Fox News that Trebek, despite his grim circumstances, is in good spirits.

“He’s a strong man, and I think he’s doing much better than I would do,” he said.

“Pancreatic cancer, like all cancer, hides from you and hides at a really bad place,” Oz added, “right in the middle of your body where you can’t tell it’s there.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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