'Jeopardy' Host Alex Trebek Diagnosed With Pancreatic Cancer

Alex Trebek - 2017 150th Anniversary of Canada's Confederation - Getty - H 2018
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Jeopardy host Alex Trebek has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

The 78-year-old broke the news Wednesday in a video message. 

"I have some news to share with all of you, and it's in keeping with my longtime policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy fan base," Trebek says. "I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health. So therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information. Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer."

Stage 4 cancer means the disease has spread to other parts of the body. The cancer typically can't be cured at that stage, but it can be treated. 

Trebek acknowledges that the survival rate for pancreatic cancer is low, but adds, "I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working. And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease."

The host even makes a wry joke, noting he has three years left on his current Jeopardy contract.

"If anyone can beat this, it's Alex," said Mike Hopkins, chairman of Jeopardy producer Sony Pictures TV. "He has our full support as he tackles this challenge head-on."

Trebek has been the host of Jeopardy since its current iteration debuted in 1984. (Previous versions of the game show aired on NBC and in syndication in the 1960s and '70s.) He has won five Daytime Emmys for outstanding game show host and received a lifetime achievement award in 2011.

After Sony extended Trebek's contract, along with those of Wheel of Fortune hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White, through 2022, syndicator CBS Television Distribution in early November renewed both shows through the 2022-23 season.

In its 35th season, Jeopardy remains one of the most popular shows in syndication. It averages more than 10 million daily viewers.

Trebek's message is below.