Alex Trebek’s resilient battle beat the odds for stage-four pancreatic cancer
“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek vowed to beat the odds of survival of his stage-four pancreatic cancer — an incredible feat he managed earlier this year before ultimately succumbing Sunday to the aggressive disease.
The 80-year-old game-show host revealed back in March 2019 that he’d been diagnosed with the devastating disease, which has the highest mortality rate of all cancers with just 18 percent of stage-four patients reaching the one-year milestone.
“I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease,” Trebek said at the time.
“Truth told, I have to because under the terms of my contract, I have to host ‘Jeopardy!’ for three more years, so help me. Keep the faith and we will win. We will get it done,” he joked.
He forged ahead with filming new episodes and celebrated reaching the one-year mark in an update earlier this year.
“I am very happy to report that I have just reached that marker,” Trebek said in a Twitter video.
But he added, “Now I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one.”
“There were some good days, but a lot of not-so-good days. I joked with friends that cancer won’t kill me, the chemo treatments will,” he said.
“There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned, and sudden massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting.”
Pancreatic cancer is the third-leading cancer-related death in the nation, with a 5-year survival rate of just 9 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.
Most patients aren’t diagnosed until their pancreatic is at stage three or four, which is often considered inoperable, experts said.
There are around 57,600 Americans projected to be diagnosed this year with the cancer, and more than 47,050 were expected to die from the disease.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from complications of metastatic pancreas cancer in September.
The disease has also claimed the lives of “The Elephant Man” actor John Hurt, Italian opera singer Luciano Pavarotti and “Harry Potter” actor Alan Rickman.
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