Alex Trebek, the longtime host of Jeopardy!, revealed that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in a video statement released Wednesday.
“Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” Trebek said. “Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working.”
The 78-year-old host explained that he wanted to speak to Jeopardy! fans directly about his diagnosis, rather than have them read “some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding [his] health.” While Trebek acknowledged the low survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer, he vowed to fight the disease with a flash of humor.
“Truth told, I have to,” Trebek said. “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.”
Trebek announced his cancer diagnosis just over a year after he was forced to take a brief hiatus from Jeopardy! to recover from brain surgery. The procedure was necessary to remove blood cots that formed in his brain after a fall several months prior. While Trebek has faced other health scares during his 35-year Jeopardy! tenure, including a pair of heart attacks, he’s never taken a prolonged break from the syndicated game show.