‘Jeopardy’ Host Alex Trebek Gives a Cancer Update on the One Year Anniversary of His Diagnosis

Alex Trebek released a video via the Jeopardy social media accounts with an update about his cancer diagnosis. The video signifies the one year anniversary of Trebek’s survival following his diagnosis. He first announced that in a video March 9, 2019. On Jan. 8, Trebek was on a panel for the Television Critics Association during which he spoke about his struggle with cancer treatments and hopes for the future of Jeopardy. He has continued hosting the game show.

Jeopardy host Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

Trebek’s message is mostly hopeful for the future. However, he is also honest about the hardships he has endured in the last year of treatment. Watch his announcement below. Jeopardy airs weeknights on your local stations.

Alex Trebek made an announcement from the ‘Jeopardy’ stage

First of all, the fact that Trebek is here to make an announcement one year after his diagnosis is monumental. That’s how he began, from the stage of Jeopardy

“The one year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18%,” Trebek said. “I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker. You know, my oncologist tried to cheer me up the other day. He said, ‘You know, Alex, even though the two year survival rate is only seven percent,’ he was certain that one year from now the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival.”

The hardships Alex Trebek has endured on and off ‘Jeopardy’

In January, Trebek gave some hints as to the difficulties he was having while going through cancer treatment. Back then, he suggested it was slowing him down while filming Jeopardy. Now he shared some more of his health struggles.

Alex Trebek speaks about cancer at TCA
Alex Trebek | ABC/Stewart Cook

“Now, I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one,” Trebek said. “There were some good days but a lot of not so good days. I joke with friends that the cancer won’t kill me, the chemo treatments will. There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned and sudden massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on.” 

This is what has kept him going

Trebek did keep fighting. He credits his wife, Jeopardy fans and fellow cancer patients with motivating him to keep fighting to survive.

“But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal, a betrayal of my wife and soul mate Jean who has given her all to help me survive,” Trebek said. “It would have been a betrayal of other cancer patients who have looked to me as an inspiration and a cheerleader of sorts of the value of living and hope. And it would certainly have bene a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf.”

Jeopardy's Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek | Sony Pictures Entertainment

Trebek maintains that when he decides to retire from Jeopardy, he will make a 30 second announcement at the end of an episode. He gave no indication of making that announcement just yet.

“And you know something?” Trebek continued. “If I, no, if we because so many of us are involved in this same situation, if we take it just one day at a time with a positive attitude, anything is possible. I’ll keep you posted.”