Alex Trebek, the longtime host of Jeopardy, revealed in March that he is suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Trebek made the announcement in a video on the show's official YouTube page.
Hi everyone, I have some news to share with all of you. And it's in keeping with my longtime policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy fanbase. I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health.
So therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information. Now, 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 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 [keep hosting] 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.
The announcement came as a shock to many, as the 78-year-old host seemed almost invincible. His long tenure as host of Jeopardy made most people forget that he too ages, and is vulnerable when it comes to health issues,
Many people, including fellow game show host Pat Sajak, reached out to Trebek to send their support.
"The Sajak family is deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek's struggle with cancer," the Wheel of Fortune Host wrote on Twitter. "Our hearts go out to him and his family. But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him. We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex."
But now our beloved host has good news to share: He's in "near remission," according to doctors.
"It's kind of mind-boggling," the 78-year-old says, in PEOPLE's new cover story. Although the cancer has a 9 percent survival rate, Trebek has been responding very well to chemotherapy. "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."
While this is all great news he knows he's not in the clear just yet. Trebek's got several more rounds of chemo before he goes into full remission. The good news, however, brought him to tears, adding, "But they were tears of joy, not tears of depression."
According to TMZ, when it comes to the why he's responded so well to chemo, Trebek said he credits well wishes from fans and friends from around the world. 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."
He 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."