Alex Trebek has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
The Canadian-born Jeopardy! host made the revelation in a video posted to the show’s official social media channels on Wednesday afternoon.
“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 going to fight this, and I’m going to 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,” he said.
He then joked that he has to keep working due to contractual obligations.
“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’ll win. We’ll get it done.”
WATCH: Support pours in for Alex Trebek after announcement of pancreatic cancer diagnosis
Trebek, 78, has hosted Jeopardy! since 1984, winning five daytime Emmys for outstanding game show host. He was born in Sudbury, Ont., and attended the University of Ottawa.
He was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2017.
In the video, Trebek said he went public with the diagnosis to be transparent with fans and prevent them from hearing “overblown or inaccurate reports” about his health.
Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the five-year survival rate from 2008 to 2014 was 8.5 per cent. Stage 4 is the most advanced form of the disease.
In Canada, an estimated 5,500 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 4,800 died from it in 2017, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Well wishes from celebrities and prominent Canadians poured in on social media following Trebek’s announcement.
“We, the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex,” said Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted, “Keep fighting, Alex — Canadians are rooting for you!”
Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings compared Trebek to Walter Cronkite — an “authoritative, reassuring TV voice you hear every night, almost to the point of ritual.”
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said, “To Alex Trebek: know that the prayers of millions of people around the world, including from my family, are with you as you face this challenge head-on.”
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