Alex Trebek diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer

Alex Trebek has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and is vowing to fight the disease.

The Canadian-born “Jeopardy!” host made the statement in a video on the game show’s YouTube channel.

“Normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working,” Trebek said in the video.

Trebek joked that he must remain host of “Jeopardy!” in part because his contract requires him to continue his role for another three years. Trebek signed the contract last October.

The 78-year-old from Sudbury, Ont., has been the host of “Jeopardy!” since 1984. 

The City of Greater Sudbury’s Deputy Mayor Al Sizer said in an emailed statement that Trebek “holds a special place in the hearts” of the those in his hometown.

“Certainly our whole community has Alex and his family in our thoughts and we are all behind him in his battle against cancer and know that he’s going to be a fighter,” Sizer wrote in the statement.

Trebek was given the Order of Canada in 2017 and joined the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2006.

He’s won five Emmy awards and earned the Daytime Emmy Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer is just three per cent.

“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,” Trebek said.

Stage 4 is the final stage of pancreatic cancer and generally means the disease has spread to other parts of the body, typically the liver, lungs or bones.

Trebek has had health problems before. In January 2018, he underwent surgery to correct some blood clots found on his brain and suffered a mild heart attack in 2012.

Both health scares did not impact the show’s broadcast schedule.

In 2011, Trebek snapped his Achilles tendon after chasing a woman who had allegedly stolen items from his hotel room. He hosted the National Geographic World Championship while on crutches later that day.

Trebek’s latest health problem has received a groundswell of support on social media.

“The Sajak family is deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s struggle with cancer,” Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak wrote in a tweet. “Our hearts go out to him and his family. But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him.”

The Sajak family is deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s struggle with cancer. Our hearts go out to him and his family. But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him. We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex.

— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) March 6, 2019

Ken Jennings, a former “Jeopardy!” contestant and the show’s second-highest earner, wrote: “Alex is very aware of how much he means to millions of people, and how we will be pulling for him...I hope that’s a comfort.”

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer tweeted: “I’m sure I’m among many loyal (‘Jeopardy!’) viewers who are shocked by this news. To Alex Trebek: know that the prayers of millions of people around the world, including from my family, are with you as you face this challenge head-on.”

I’m sure I’m among many loyal @Jeopardy viewers who are shocked by this news. To Alex Trebek: know that the prayers of millions of people around the world, including from my family, are with you as you face this challenge head-on. All the best. https://t.co/p9ehsedhFM

— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) March 6, 2019

I’ve said this before but Alex Trebek is in a way the last Cronkite: authoritative, reassuring TV voice you hear every night, almost to the point of ritual.

— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) March 6, 2019

One thing I know for a fact: Alex is very aware of how much he means to millions of people, and how we will be pulling for him...I hope that’s a comfort.

— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) March 6, 2019

And I hope some very good L.A. oncologists are getting ready to have their mispronunciations corrected.

— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) March 6, 2019

What is an entire community behind you, Alex? @Jeopardy pic.twitter.com/gTr3W6lioG

— Greater Sudbury (@GreaterSudbury) March 6, 2019