The past few months may have been some of the most difficult for him, but Alex Trebek — who announced his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis to the world in early March — finally has some good news to share. In fact, the beloved Jeopardy! host revealed he’s “near remission,” according to doctors.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” the 78-year-old shared with People for this week’s cover story. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory … some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.” Wow!
Although the survival rate for this form of cancer is only a mere 9 percent, Alex explained that his body has been responding well to the chemotherapy. However, the TV personality isn’t in the clear just yet. He said that in order to get into full remission, there are still several more rounds of the cancer treatment drug ahead of him.
Even though Alex is still fighting for his life, the game show legend admitted that he got super emotional when doctors informed him of the optimistic news. “But they were tears of joy, not tears of depression,” said Alex, who has been candidly open and honest about the trials and tribulations that come with battling cancer.
The Classic Concentration host also dished that the prayers and kind messages from fans all around the world have given him hope while up against this formidable disease. “I’ve got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed towards me and their prayers,” he said. “I told the doctors, this has to be more than just the chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this.”
Alex sweetly added, “I’ve got a lot of love out there headed in my direction and a lot of prayer, and I will never ever minimize the value of that.”
The Canada native has been quite optimistic about his diagnosis ever since he shared the news with fans on March 6. “Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” Alex said at the time. “Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working. And 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. Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years! So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
We are praying for you, Alex!