‘Jeopardy’ host Alex Trebek, 78, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer


We’re not even three full months into 2019 and already there are like five stories that f–king broke me. This is one of them. Alex Trebek, long-time host of Jeopardy and an absolute institution of television broadcasting, has pancreatic cancer. He revealed his diagnosis in a video from the Jeopardy set and when his voice breaks as he talks about his chances, I broke too.

The 78-year-old said, in part: “Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week, I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Now, normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working, ” he said in the video. “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 rates statistics for this disease.”

Trebek has had health issues before, including a heart attack in 2012, blood clots in his brain last year, and other incidents. Trebek says that he hopes to finish this current season, but he’s right that the statistics on pancreatic cancer are not good. I had a distant cousin who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and by the time he was diagnosed, it had already spread. The end was quick and heartbreaking.

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47 Responses to “‘Jeopardy’ host Alex Trebek, 78, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    This is heartbreaking. It makes me want to watch Jeopardy every night, because who knows how much longer it will go on?

    The comparison to Cronkite is apt. His voice is comforting, authoritative (even if he is just reading clues and not the news) and his presence is just a mainstay on TV.

  2. Ye says:

    That is horrible news. I hope he is doing well in spite of it.

  3. DazLondon says:

    I lost a friend to pancreatic cancer. It was brutal. Just 3 months from diagnosis to death.

    • jan90067 says:

      My best friend’s mother had 6 mos. from diagnosis until passing. My uncle was diagnosed with pancreatitis a year ago Feb., treated and seemed to be doing well, and in May we got the cancer diagnosis. He was gone by 7 mos. later, in December (he literally held on until the day after his and my aunt’s 35th wedding anniversary. We all feel he didn’t want her to have the memory of him dying on their anniversary). This horrific disease moves so fast, and is so hard to detect until too late.

      I used to watch Jeopardy every night. Alex Trebek really is one of a kind. I hope he IS one of that very small percentage that can beat it. Like Becks1, I think I’m going to start watching again; we don’t know how long we’ll have Alex asking to form our answers in a question.

      Sending all the best to the Trebek family and friends!❤️

    • Trillian says:

      My father. Diagnosed in December, dead by April. Worst kind of cancer there is.

      • H says:

        My condolences, @ Trillian. My best friend’s father was diagnosed in June and he passed by late August. They are still reeling.

    • Haapa says:

      My uncle just last year. Six months and gone. As soon as they said it was pancreatic, I knew he wouldn’t beat it and he wouldn’t have long. It’s horrible.

  4. CommentingBunny says:

    Watching Jeopardy with my parents is one of my fondest memories from my teen years. They still watch every night, and now that my kids are teens, we alll watch it together when we visit them. Alex feels like part of my family. I hope he kicks cancer’s ass.

  5. Lisa says:

    Sad news.

  6. Lightpurple says:

    Wishing him all the best. This is so sad.

  7. Eliza says:

    That is a very scary diagnosis. I hope he gets/ is a strong advocate for his treatment plan. All the best wishes for health and recovery.

  8. OriginalLala says:

    a friend’s dad had pancreatic cancer and within two months he was gone… awful insidious disease #fuckcancer

    • Originaltessa says:

      I lost an uncle within 6 weeks of diagnosis. He suffered and was in a lot of pain. I’m praying for Alex.

    • Shrute’s beet farm says:

      Pancreatic cancer is hard to diagnose and many people don’t know they have it until they’re stage IV, like Alex. I had an uncle who was gone within just a few weeks of his own diagnosis. I wish Alex strength and hope he has endless support around him in the coming days and weeks. He will need it.

    • Millenial says:

      Yeah, this diagnosis is not a good one. Survivial rates are grim. Honestly, if I were Alex, I’d stop working and focus on spending time with family and anything else I wanted to do before I got too sick, but maybe working makes him happy. Either way, I wish him luck.

  9. Nopity Nope says:

    I competed on Jeopardy! 10 years ago and he truly is a kind, warm, welcoming person. I will never forget that experience (childhood dream fulfilled), mostly due to how wonderful Alex was to all of us. I wish him the best as he embarks on this unfortunate journey.

  10. Onemoretime says:

    Alex is one of a kind. Such devastating news, he’s been apart of my life since forever. He’s a fighter, heck he diagnosised his own heart attack . What is “You Got This Beat” for $1000 Alex?

  11. Abby says:

    This makes me so sad!!! I know one person who’s survived 5+ years with pancreatic cancer, but he’s in his 30s and it was one of the treatable kinds. He just posted yesterday about a friend his age where the cancer came back and he lost the fight.

    I watched Jeopardy with my family every night for YEARS and YEARS growing up. I love Alex! He is such a class act. Can’t imagine that show without him. I hope he’s able to fight and beat the odds.

  12. Adrien says:

    Hang in there, Alex. The guy from Game of Thrones and guitarist of blues band Dr. Feelgood, Wilko Johnson was also diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer and already prepared his farewell tour but he survived it.

  13. Eric says:

    Alex Trebek is so ubiquitous in the role of Jeopardy! host that it would be nearly impossible to find a suitable replacement.

    I vow to never watch Jeopardy! with another host.

    What is…I’m sad for $2000, Alex?

  14. Skyblue says:

    Oh man. Hearing of his illness makes me sad. I’m a hospice nurse and in my experience pancreatic cancer is a horrid diagnosis. So very painful. I do wish him the very best.

  15. Sparkly says:

    Really heartbreaking. Trebek has always seemed like such a cool, classy guy. I hope he does beat this. He looks good (I haven’t watched the show in probably 15 or 20 years — he looks the same!!!). My heart is with him.

  16. Guest says:

    This is heartbreaking. My aunt died of pancreatic cancer a few months after she was diagnosed. – no history of it in the family. It was devastating. To this day, I still can’t believe she’s gone. I wish him the best and truly hope he can beat it.

  17. C.Love says:

    My mom – a long-time Jeopardy fan – died three months after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, enduring excruciating pain and suffering.

    I hope Alex prevails and that his diagnosis, along with many other celebrities’’, brings attention to what’ doctors call ‘the king of cancer’. Patrick Swayze, Karl Lagerfeld and Steve Jobs all died from this disease; let’s use their visibility to raise money for research and to help ease the suffering of so many people struck by this monster illness.

  18. B n A fan says:

    Pancreatic Cancer is a b$$ch, especially stage 4. I wish him the best and will prey for him. Hang in there Alex, God bless.

  19. Scarlet Vixen says:

    I don’t think I have ever cried when hearing bad news about a celebrity before…Until now. My family watched Jeopardy every. single. night when I was growing up. Now, I have my own kids, and we all LOVE to watch Jeopardy together. My kids get SO excited when they get a correct answer, and they think I am a genius because of Jeopardy (I’m not, but I’ll take what I can get!). It’s like hearing bad news about your favorite uncle.

  20. Lady D says:

    Horrible horrible news. I’m losing a friend.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Sadly my uncle passed away from pancreatic cancer. The doctors gave him 8-10 months, and he made it 7. He was a fighter, but it was caught too late. Initially he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes – which made sense because he didn’t take care of himself. But it turned out that that was actually the initial stages of the cancer messing up his pancreas. God speed and good luck, Mr. Trebek. I pray with all my heart that he can beat this.

  22. Insomniac says:

    I’ll take “Go Home, 2019 – You’re Drunk” for $2000, Alex.

    I was lucky enough to get on the show in 2011. Alex was sharp and funny, and it was completely surreal to be standing on the Jeopardy set and talking to him. I seriously feel as sad as if I’d heard this news about a relative.

  23. Veronica S. says:

    My coworker told us this yesterday, and my heart sank to hear it. Pancreatic cancer is an absolutely awful way to go, one of the ugliest. I hope he has the support and as much comfort as he can in his last months of life. What a shame.

  24. The Other Katherine says:

    I am so sad to hear about Alex’s diagnosis. I know a few people who have been on Jeopardy (they tend to congregate on pub quiz teams), and they have nothing but nice things to say about him. A real gentleman, by all accounts.

    I hope he talks with a good hospice team ASAP so that he can quickly transition to hospice care and focus purely on comfort as soon as he is mentally ready to do that. I also hope he doesn’t wait too long to make that transition, but unfortunately almost all Americans do. So many people wait until they are within literally days of death before taking advantage of all the comforts hospice can offer, in spite of the fact that focusing on comfort can actually extend the number of days of survival for someone with an incurable illness that has a very poor prognosis.

    Sending best wishes for Alex and his family, and hoping they are able to make the most of their time together.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Yeah, that’s a tough one. That scenario happened with my mother. The hospice team was wonderful, but we had their help for such a short time.

    • Elise says:

      I lost one of my best friends this past July to liver cancer–less than eight weeks from diagnosis to death–and she decided after three chemo treatments that she wasn’t going to bother any more. I have SO much respect for hospice. I didn’t realize that they also offer counseling to family and friends for up to a year after someone’s death as a part of their services. If I ever hit the lottery, I’m making a huge donation to that hospice. It’s a nonprofit and deserves all the help it can get.

  25. Livethelifeaquatic says:

    I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer last October. She was 60. She survived for nearly seven years and beat many odds, but unfortunately you can’t survive long term. The end was very shitty and I’m still dealing with a lot of depression from it.

  26. Lorelei says:

    Oh wow, that’s not good. I remember Michael Landon passed away so quickly after his diagnosis— I think it was only three or four months. Sending good thoughts to Alex.

  27. Madpoe says:

    My father passed from pancreatic cancer, less than a year of diagnose, he passed away.
    Make the most time you have <3

  28. Bunny says:

    This is heartbreaking. Of the two people I know who’ve received this diagnosis, one is still alive 14 years later. Hoping that Mr Trebek is one of the few, and that soon the few become the many.

    Prayers for Mr Trebek, and only the very best wishes.

  29. FHMom says:

    My family and I watch Jeopardy every night after dinner. This made us all so sad. We wish him and his family all the best.

  30. Pandy says:

    Ah, poor Alex. A true gentleman.

  31. Christy says:

    My dad died of pancreatic cancer ilast November, 15 months after diagnosis. Devastating. He was 78 also and Alex always reminded me of my dad. I hope he focuses on enjoying his loved ones.

  32. Liz version 700 says:

    It is gut wrenching that he was almost trying to reassure us it would be ok. What a rotten week. 2019 has been vile

  33. SpilldatT says:

    This completely off caught me off guard.

    I don’t know how he managed to deliver that little speech with such calmness & grace, because I was bawling.

    The odds are stacked, but I’m going to support him in his fight as I’m sure all fans of Jeopardy will. It brings to light how much we still have to do to fight cancer.

  34. Anothersarah says:

    Heartbreaking. Did you guys watch the All
    Stars Tournement? It was such a nice reunion, feels even more important that they got to do that now.

  35. Kitten says:

    So very sad. Reading through the comments here, I’m struck by how many people had a loved one die from pancreatic cancer. I’m so sorry and my heart goes out to all of you. Sigh. Cancer is such a rotten bitch of a disease.

  36. Beer&Crumpets says:

    Fuck that, Alex gonna kick it right in the ass.