Alex Trebek may have to leave 'Jeopardy!' due to cancer battle, but he's 'not afraid of dying'

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek opened up about his battle with pancreatic cancer over the weekend.

The 79-year-old game show host recently revealed that he needed more chemotherapy after doctors urged him to undergo another round of the treatment after he lost a significant amount of weight.

On Friday, he told CTV’s Lisa LaFlamme that he has begun to get sores inside his mouth from the chemotherapy, which makes it difficult to enunciate and he can hear himself slurring his words on Jeopardy!

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“I will keep doing it (the show) as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish,” he revealed about his future as the game show’s host.

“I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” he said. “But there will come a point when they (fans and producers) will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s OK.’”

Trebek, who has been hosting Jeopardy! for 35 years, said he doesn’t fear death and spoke about his own memorial service.

“I’m not afraid of dying,” Trebek said. “I’m 79 years old. So, hey, I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life. I know that.

“One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral, as a part of a eulogy, is, ‘He was taken from us too soon.'”

Trebek said that he has some regrets about going public with his battle.

“There’s a little too much Alex Trebek out there,” he said. “A lot of people are coming to me and looking for help, reassurance — and that’s tough.”

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In early March, the longtime Jeopardy! host disclosed that he’d been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, an illness with a grim prognosis and an approximately nine per cent survival rate.

In May, Trebek said that according to his doctors, he’s in “near remission” and had been responding very well to chemotherapy.

“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” Trebek said. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory… Some of the tumours have already shrunk by more than 50 per cent.”

In September, the Jeopardy! host said he had been “doing so well” but weeks later his “numbers went sky high.”

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

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When speaking with the outlet on Friday, Trebek said that his numbers “blew up and went 50 per cent higher than when it was first diagnosed. Go figure.”

“I’m hanging in,” Trebek continued. “So we’re back on the chemo and we’ll see if the numbers go down. And if they do … they can’t keep doing it forever, of course.”

—With files from Meaghan Wray

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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