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Alex Trebek Shares Hopeful Health Update a Year After Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

Next goal: year two

Amanda Bell

Alex Trebek has now reached a major milestone in his battle with pancreatic cancer. In a new video update, the beloved Jeopardy! host revealed that he has now passed the one-year survival mark since being diagnosed with the disease, and his doctor is optimistic that this is just the beginning.

Trebek, who first revealed the news of his diagnosis in March 2019, said in the video, "The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18 percent. I'm very happy to report I have just reached that marker."

The host admitted that he'd be "lying" if he said it was easy for him to reach that point. Trebek, who has been frank about his struggles with chemotherapy treatment and depression, detailed some of the ongoing complications that he's faced over the past year.

"There were some good days, but a lot of not-so-good days. I joke with friends that the cancer won't kill me -- the chemo treatments will," Trebek said. "There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned, and certain massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on." However, Trebek said he was able to "brush [those feelings] aside" because he believed that quitting his treatment would have been a "betrayal" -- of his wife, his fellow cancer patients, and his faith.

Trebek ended on a hopeful note by saying that his oncologist made a prediction during a recent visit. "He was certain that in one year from now the two of us would be sitting in his office, celebrating my second anniversary of survival," Trebek recalled. "And you know something? If I -- no, if we, because so many of us are involved in this same situation -- if we take it just one day at a time, with a positive attitude, anything is possible. I'll keep you posted."

Although there's no sign that Trebek is ready to step away from hosting Jeopardy! yet, he previously admitted that he has figured out how he'll say goodbye to his faithful audience if and when it comes to that. The host has also remarked on what he hopes his legacy will be: that knowledge is important.

Jeopardy! airs on weeknights.

​Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek