The host of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek, has announced that his cancer is heading toward remission. Three months ago, Trebek shocked the nation with the grave announcement of his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. The beloved and iconic game show host has remained positive, and has reportedly not missed a day of filming for Jeopardy!.
Created by Merv Griffin, the trivia show has become a household staple, and the most recognized game show of all time. The unique platform, blue box panels, and Trebek’s impeccable hosting skills have created a formula that's kept Jeopardy! in syndication for 35 seasons. The 78-year-old Trebek has also appeared, as himself, in a slew of TV shows, including Jack Ryan, The X-Files, The Simpsons, and Beverly Hills 90210. Amid Trebek’s prognosis, Jeopardy! was considering finding a replacement to take over hosting duties. However, Trebek doesn't appear to be leaving the show anytime soon. In March, Trebek released a follow-up video to his diagnosis, promising to continue his work as host of Jeopardy! while undergoing treatment. The cautiously optimistic host has now announced new developments regarding his health.
According to People, Trebek states he's "near remission" after his diagnosis four months ago. Making astonishing strides in his battle against cancer, Trebek revealed he's responding well to chemotherapy, and some of his tumors have shrunk by more than 50 percent. The survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 9 percent - the highest mortality rate of all major cancers - making Trebek’s current outcome incredible and "kind of mind-boggling." Trebek has remained open and brutally honest about the physical and emotional toll of chemotherapy. He recently shared the following with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts about his experience:
“My oncologist tells me I’m doing well, even though I don’t always feel it. I’ve had kidney stones, I’ve had ruptured discs, so I’m used to dealing with pain. But what I’m not used to dealing with are surges that come on suddenly of deep deep sadness and it brings tears to my eyes. I’ve discovered in this whole episode, ladies and gentlemen, that I’m a bit of a wuss, but I’m fighting through it.”
Trebek’s newest update is certainly assuring to his legions of fans. However, the battle requires more fighting on the host’s part, as he must undergo several more rounds of chemotherapy. Despite the chemotherapy and prognosis, Trebek continues to participate in an exciting time in Jeopardy! history. Recently, sports gambler James Holzhauer snatched up his 29th consecutive win. Bestowing aggressive gameplay and unique strategy, Holzhauer inches toward taking the throne from Ken Jennings' all-time Jeopardy! total of over $2 million dollars. Neither Holzhauer or Trebek appear to be winding down anytime soon.
Trebek has attributed much of his onscreen and offscreen success to good thoughts and positive energies. The classically underplayed announcement of a grim diagnosis by Trebek offered hope to the masses worried about his outcome and those battling a disease themselves. Celebrity illness has provided vital educational moments for the media and the public. Michael J. Fox opening up about Parkinson’s disease and Emilia Clarke disclosing details about her brain aneurysms has opened the gates for honest conversations and potential funding. Trebek’s newest message is a reminder that one facing an illness doesn't mean one is alone. As it stands, fans can continue to tune in to watch Trebek behind the podium of Jeopardy!.