The Grapevine

'Jeopardy!' Host Alex Trebek Talks About Cancer Battle: I’m Not Afraid Of Dying

Long time “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek has announced that his ongoing cancer battle may force him to leave the popular game show anytime soon. He said his chemotherapy treatment has been causing sores in his mouth, which affect his ability to pronounce words.

Trebek first talked about his disease in March. He was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, with a 5-year survival rate of 9 percent. 

But the 79-year-old host said at the time that he will continue working while fighting the disease. In May, Trebek told fans that doctors found his tumors were responding properly to his chemotherapy treatment.

He called his condition “mind-boggling” since doctors said it was the first time they saw such a positive result. Early treatments were able to reduce his tumor size by more than 50 percent.

The improvements in his health allowed Trebek to return to “Jeopardy!” in September and to suspend chemotherapy. But a few weeks later, doctors encouraged him to undergo more cancer treatments due to sudden changes in his condition. 

Trebek told ABC News he lost nearly 12 pounds within a week and his tumors were “sky high,” significantly higher than in his first diagnosis. He then promised to commit to his new treatments. 

However, Trebek admitted that he may not do it forever.

There Is Nothing To Be Afraid Of

Trebek has been hosting "Jeopardy!" since 1984. He already recorded more than 8,000 episodes, the highest number by a presenter of any single TV game show, CNN reported Monday.

But the veteran host said there would be the time when he may stop working. 

"I will keep doing it (the show) as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish," Trebek told CTV's Lisa LaFlamme in an interview. “But there will come a point when they (fans and producers) will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s OK.'"

He also said that he is “not afraid of dying” from his disease. 

“I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life,” Trebek said. “If it happens, why should I be afraid of that?”

Alex Trebek "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek at the 2016 USO Gala, Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 2016. U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jim Greenhill