Jeopardy host and beloved TV icon Alex Trebek published in March that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Since then, Trebek, who has hosted the game show since 1984, has been undergoing treatments to “beat the low survival rate statistics,” he said.
Trebek shared with CTV News on October 4 that he may depart Jeopardy because of chemotherapy/health complications.
Trebek, 79, explained that he’s developed mouth sores from his chemotherapy that render it cumbersome for him to articulate his words and pronunciation.
“I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” Trebek said. “But there will come a point when they will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s okay.'”
“I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish,” Trebek, whose contract runs until 2020, said.
Though he announced that he went into near remission in May, this September he had to undergo a second round of treatment after his “numbers went sky high.” He told Good Morning America, “I was doing so well. And my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer. So we were all very optimistic.”
“The thought of the pancreatic cancer does not frighten me. I’m 79 years old. So, hey, I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life. I know that.” But even so, he does want to host for as long as he’s healthy. In September he shared, “As long as I can walk out and greet the audience and the contestants and run the game I’m happy.”