Alex Trebek’s Latest Cancer Update: ‘The Tumors Have Already Shrunk’
Things are looking up for “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek!
According to his doctors, Trebek is in “near remission” three months after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Trebek told People magazine, “It's kind of mind-boggling. 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.”
Alex has been responding well to chemotherapy and will undergo several more rounds. He also credits the love he has received for helping him battle cancer, saying, “I've got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed towards me, and their prayers. 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 emphasized, “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.”
After hearing the good news from his doctors, Trebek couldn't hold back the tears. He said, “They were tears of joy, not tears of depression.”
Trebek hasn't lost his sense of humor while fighting cancer. In a recent interview with "CBS Sunday Morning,” he revealed that his chemotherapy treatments have made him lose his hair. As a result, the 78-year-old has been wearing a hairpiece while shooting "Jeopardy!" He shared, “And so what the challenge for 'Jeopardy!' viewers is right now is to figure out, 'Is that Alex's real hair or is that a full hairpiece?' Because they all know that when you start chemo, you lose your hair. So, which is it?"
He revealed of his hair to Jane Pauley, “This is not the real me. But on air, I'm told that there were times when the hairpiece looked better than my real hair. So, we'll see how people react to that. We have the summer months off. So, hopefully my own hair will grow back. 'Cause I like my own hair!"
Alex was suffering excruciatingly painful stomach cramps when he was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. He said, “This got really bad. I was on the floor writhing in pain. It went from a three to an 11. And I just couldn't believe, I didn't know what was happening. And it happened three or four times a day while we were taping. So, that was a little rough on me."
When he went to see a doctor, a lump "the size of a small fist" was found in his abdomen.
Despite the pain and the diagnosis, Trebek still wanted to continue with the show. He commented, “I taped the show and then I made it to the dressing room on one occasion, just barely, before I writhed in pain and cried in pain. And I had 15 minutes before the next show. So, I got myself together and spasms of that kind usually last about 10 to 15 minutes. So, all right, here we go again: 'Anybody got any pain pills?' And I don't like taking pain pills. But I got through it. And the producers were very kind. They said, 'Look, if you don't wanna do the show, we'll just cancel taping.' I said, 'No. We're here. We're doing the shows.'"
In May, Alex sat down for his first live interview since his diagnosis. He revealed to “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts that he sometimes has “surges of deep, deep sadness” while undergoing chemotherapy, adding, “It brings tears to my eyes.”
Trebek is taking the summer off from hosting “Jeopardy!” to get better. When “Extra” recently asked him if he was coming back strong in September, he said, “I hope so.”