‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Says He’s Undergoing Chemotherapy Again After Cancer Setback

September 17, 2019 Updated: September 17, 2019

Famed “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek announced that he has to undergo chemotherapy again after a setback in his battle with cancer.

Trebek revealed in March that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Trebek has regularly updated viewers, saying in May that he was in “near remission” and in August that he completed chemotherapy. He appeared on the first episode of “Jeopardy!” season 36. “I’m still here,” he said.

Trebek said in an announcement on Sept. 17, though, that he is undergoing chemo again after the setback.

“I was doing so well. And my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer. So we were all very optimistic. And they said, ‘Good, we’re gonna stop chemo, we’ll start you on immunotherapy,” Trebek said during an appearance on “Good Morning America.”

“I lost about 12 pounds in a week. And my numbers went sky high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed. So, the doctors have decided that I have to undergo chemo again and that’s what I’m doing.”

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Alex Trebek poses in the press room at the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, Calif., on May 5, 2019. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
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Alex Trebek in a file photograph. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Trebek said his battle with cancer has brought “excruciating pain” at times, while he’s also felt tired.

He also said that he does think of death and isn’t scared of it.

“I realize that there is an end in sight for me, just as there is for everyone else. One line that I have used with our staff in recent weeks and months is that when I do pass on, one thing they will not say at my funeral is, ‘Oh, he was taken from us too soon. Hey guys. I’m 79 years old. I’ve had one hell of a good life. And I’ve enjoyed it,” he said.

“The thought of passing on doesn’t frighten me, it doesn’t. Other things do, the effect it will have on my loved ones … it makes me sad. But the thought of myself moving on, hey folks, it comes with the territory.”

Trebek said he plans to keep hosting “Jeopardy!”

After his diagnosis, Trebek told supporters that he would fight the cancer.

“Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” he said.

“Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m gonna fight this, and I’m gonna 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.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber