Alex Trebek Says Pancreatic Cancer Tumors Have "Shrunk by More Than 50 Percent"

Alex Trebek poses on the set of the "Jeopardy!" -Getty-H 2019
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The 'Jeopardy' host shared good news about his battle with the disease, which has a five-year survival rate of 9 percent.

Jeopardy host Alex Trebek has revealed that his stage 4 pancreatic cancer is responding surprisingly well to treatment.

In a cover story for People magazine, the beloved TV personality revealed that some of his "tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent." 

While Trebek has been optimistic about his fight with the disease since he revealed his diagnosis in March, the recent developments, considering the cancer's five-year survival rate of 9 percent, have surprised both him and his doctors.

"It's kind of mind-boggling," he told People. "The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory."

The story goes on to say that Trebek is in "near remission," according to doctors, but the Jeopardy host points out that he still has to undergo several more rounds of chemotherapy to get into full remission.

And Trebek, who's taken a positive, hopeful approach, credits well wishes from fans with helping him recover.

“I’ve got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed towards me and their prayers,” Trebek added. “I told the doctors, this has to be more than just the chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this. I’ve got a lot of love out there headed in my direction and a lot of prayer, and I will never ever minimize the value of that.”

Trebek previously shared an encouraging update on Good Morning America, saying that he's getting positive medical feedback even though he doesn't always feel so good.

"My oncologist tells me I'm doing well, even though I don't always feel it," he said. "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 the surges that come on suddenly of deep, deep sadness, and it brings tears to my eyes."

Prior to that, he told Jeopardy viewers, via a video message from the set of the long-running game show, that he was "feeling good" and looking forward to returning to the show in September.

When Trebek first revealed his diagnosis, again via video from the Jeopardy set, he said he was going to "fight" the disease, aiming to "beat the low survival rate statistics."

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

Trebek has hosted Jeopardy since its current iteration debuted in 1984. He has won six Daytime Emmy awards for outstanding game show host and received a lifetime achievement award in 2011. His contract has been extended through 2022 and syndicator CBS Television Distribution has renewed Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, the hosts of which are also signed through 2022, through the 2022-2023 season.