Alex Trebek marks 1 year after pancreatic cancer diagnosis: Giving up would've betrayed my faith

'Jeopardy!' host, Alex Trebek shares cancer update, March 2020.
"Jeopardy!" host, Alex Trebek shares cancer update, March 2020. | Twitter/Screenshot/@Jeopardy

Beloved "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek shared an emotional health update Wednesday, just one year after he began treatment for pancreatic cancer. 

Trebek released a video on Twitter to celebrate the news he received from his oncologist.

"Hi everyone. If you've got a minute I'd like to bring you up to date on my health situation. The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18 percent. I'm very happy to report I have just reached that marker," Trebek told his supporters while on the set of the "Jeopardy!" studio.

The game show host who has been with "Jeopardy!" for 35 years, said his cancer diagnosis is not what's been difficult for him, instead it’s the treatment that has caused him to question life. 

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

Trebek went on to say that he would've given up if not for his support system.

"I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal. A betrayal of my wife and soulmate, Jean, who has given her all to help me survive. 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 been a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf," Trebek said.

In a 2018 interview, the host said he was nearing the end of his time on “Jeopardy!,” and the chances of him returning to host after his contract ended in 2020 was "50/50 and a little less."

Cancer is not Trebek’s first health battle.

In October 2017, he was diagnosed with subdural hematoma after hitting his head during a fall and underwent surgery the next day.

Trebek is a longtime spokesperson for Christian humanitarian group World Vision.

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