Alex Trebek Completes Chemo, Back to Work on ‘Jeopardy!’

There’s good news for Jeopardy fans. After just five months of battling pancreatic cancer,  Alex Trebek is back on the set of Jeopardy!.

Alex Trebek
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In a video published Thursday, Trebek said that he’d finished his chemotherapy treatments and that he was “on the mend.”

A spokesperson for the popular game show confirmed that they began production for season 36 in late July. Now, new episodes are due out on local TV beginning on September 9.

“Let me tell you, it’s going to be a good year,” Trebek says in the promotional clip.

Battling Pancreatic Cancer

Trebek and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have both received a lot of praise for their optimistic battles against pancreatic cancer. Although, while Ginsburg was treated in the early stages, Trebek’s had progressed much further – to stage 4.

In March, when he announced he’d be undergoing treatment, the odds were not in his favor. The disease’s survival rate is low, especially for those whose cancer has reached this stage.

Patients diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, on average, only live another twelve to fifteen months. Additionally, there’s only a one percent chance that a patient will live another five years.

Trebek, however, is anything but average. With his Jeopardy! contract not ending until 2022, the quick-witted host is determined to fulfill that obligation.

“I’m going to fight this,” said the award-winning game show host, vowing to keep working.

Overcoming the Odds

Trebek, when he first announced his diagnosis, also said he planned to “beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”

Even while undergoing chemotherapy though, he still continued to film episodes for season 35. At the time, he mentioned his contract and how he’d have to beat the odds.

“Under the terms of my contract, I have to host ‘Jeopardy!’ for three more years,” Trebek quipped.

Currently, the Jeopardy! host holds the Guinness World Record for “the most gameshow episodes hosted by the same presenter (same program).” He has hosted more than 6,829 episodes of the show thus far.

In May, he told People that he was in “near remission” and that his doctors were pleased with his progress. He also said that the many cancer survivors who’d reached out to him have been “an inspiration.”

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness

Trebek and Ginsburg are both significantly raising awareness for this “particularly devastating type of cancer,” as Trebek puts it.

He says that people should “take certain precautions,” noting that “we never discover pancreatic cancer until it’s too late.”

Pancreatic cancer is often considered incurable, but, if discovered early, it is treatable.

According to Pancreatic Cancer Action, only about 10% of people receive a diagnosis in time to receive surgery for removal. That’s why it’s important to recognize the risk factors as well as the early signs and symptoms.