What is ‘the best news ever?’ After Alex Trebek revealed he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, the ‘Jeopardy!’ host now says his disease is in ‘near remission.’
“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” Alex Trebek, 78, told PEOPLE when discussing his cancer battle. The Jeopardy! host announced in March that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. While that kind of cancer has a 9% survival rate, PEOPLE reports that Alex has responded very well to chemotherapy, and he’s in “near remission,” according to his doctors. “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 doesn’t mean that Alex is entirely out of the woods, this is excellent news. With such a high mortality rate, pancreatic cancer has taken such stars like Patrick Swayze, Joan Crawford, John Hurt, Fred Gwynne, and Steve Jobs. The diagnosis is so grim that when Jeopardy’s official Twitter account shared a video with the caption, “That’s a wrap!,” some fans feared the worse, according to HuffPost. Some game show fans thought Alex was stepping down – or saying one last good-bye. Actually, he was revealing that Jeopardy! had finished its 35th season and began filming its 36th, and new episodes will be back in September.
Most people diagnosed with stage 4 pancreas cancer “will live less than one year even with treatment,” Dr. Mary Dillhoff, MD, an expert in pancreatic cancer who works in surgical oncology at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife.com. “Of course, there are people out there that do better than the average and will survive longer than that, but if we take the average of all comers, the prognosis is poor. Pancreas cancer is deadly in almost all people. The overall five-year survival rate is about eight percent. Most people will die of pancreas cancer in the first five years. And patients who have a metastatic pancreatic cancer diagnosis, that five-year survival rate is less than three percent, so it is rare to live with that cancer.”
It seemed Alex has hit the Daily Double on his treatment. Fans were first given a hint of good news from one of Trebek’s fellow game show icons, Vanna White. “He is doing incredibly well considering what he is going through right now,” the Wheel Of Fortune host told HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “He has a great sense of humor, and he is a strong man. He has a great will to conquer this.”