Alex Trebek is sharing a major health — and possible career — update with fans amid his ongoing battle against pancreatic cancer.
During an interview with news anchor Lisa Laflamme on CTV’s W5 on Friday, October 4, 2019, the beloved game show host revealed that the physical side effects stemming from his chemotherapy treatments may eventually affect his longtime hosting gig on Jeopardy!
“I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish.”
During the interview, the 79-year-old Trebek noted that sores in his mouth, caused by his latest round of chemo, sometimes make it difficult for him to enunciate while speaking. He’s beginning to wonder how much longer he can go on in his role as a game show host.
In the past, Trebek says he’s managed to work through physical pain and discomfort, and that he’ll continue to do so in the near-future.
“There are weaknesses that I feel in my body but I can always suck it up when it comes time to tape the show.”
But Trebek, who is technically still under contract to host Jeopardy! for another three years, is hyper-conscious of the feeling that the cancer, and the cancer treatments, are beginning to affect his performance — even as he’s assured by producers and fans that no one notices.
“I talk to the producers about this all the time now. I say ‘I’m slurring my words, my tongue doesn’t work as much, as well, as it used to.'”
Fans of Trebek may recall that the Jeopardy! host first announced that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer back in March 2019 in a YouTube video titled, “A Message From Alex Trebek.”
“Now normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this and I’m going to keep working.”
Trebek also added that he planned to beat the low survival rate statistics for the disease, enlisting the love and support of his family, as well as the prayers and well-wishes from the audience, to get the job done. According to the American Cancer Society, the type of cancer Trebek has been diagnosed with has a 9 percent survival rate.
Over the months that followed, Trebek kept viewers updated on his battle with the disease. By May, he announced to People that some of his tumors had remarkably shrunk down by more than 50 percent following his first round of chemo. At the time, he stated that he was believed to be near remission, and that his doctors were optimistic.
Despite the positive outlook, however, Trebek admitted to Good Morning America in September 2019 that his chemotherapy treatments had taken a toll on both his physical and mental health.
“Occasionally, it will cause excruciating pain in my lower back. Other times, it’s fatigue. Other times, it’s nausea. It varies.”
Speaking candidly, Trebek related that the physical strain of treating the disease has sometimes led to bouts of depression.
“But it just takes over my whole being for a short period of time. I understand it more now, so I can deal with it a lot better than I did before.”
Ever since announcing his diagnosis with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Alex Trebek has remained positive throughout his subsequent treatments.
“The thing I suppose that gives me the most optimism is that, hey, I’m still here. And I don’t feel terrible.”
The game show host echoed this sentiment during his recent interview with CTV’s W5, during which he candidly opened up about why he’s, quote, “not afraid of dying” as he continues to battle cancer.
“I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life, I know that.”
Trebek shares two children with Jean Currivan, his wife of 29 years. He went on to quip,
“One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral, as a part of a eulogy, is, ‘He was taken from us too soon.'”
Clearly in high spirits and noting that he’s still hanging in there, Trebek revealed what’s next in his cancer treatments.
“We’re back on the chemo and we’ll see if the numbers go down. We’ll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose.”
Watch the video to see Alex Trebek Gives Another Sad Update About His Cancer Fight.