'Jeopardy!' Host Alex Trebek Opens Up About Cancer Diminishing Skills

Lawrence Kim
October 9, 2019

As "Jeopardy!" host, Trebek has graced millions of living rooms for 35 years and more than 8,000 episodes - the most by a presenter of any single TV game show.

When he announced his stage IV pancreatic cancer diagnosis in March, Trebek said that normally the prognosis is not very encouraging, but he was going to fight the disease and he would continue working. It makes it hard for me to speak and enunciate properly ... and they say, 'Well, we don't notice.' I say, 'I notice those things.' And I'm sure there are observant members of the television audience who notice also.

"I talk to the producers about this all the time now", Trebek saidin an interview with Canada's CTV News. My tongue doesn't work as well as it used to. He also says that he now suffers from sores inside his mouth, a symptom of his chemotherapy which hurts his enunciation and he can now hear himself slurring words on Jeopardy! "There are weaknesses that I feel in my body", he said, "but I can always suck it up when it comes time to tape the show". "I notice now, but I'm not as bothered by it because all of the people around me are saying, 'No, it's OK.' But there will come a point where they will no longer be able to say, 'It's OK'". And they say, 'Well, we don't notice.' I say, 'I notice those things.' And I'm sure there are observant members of the television audience who notice also. He then started chemotherapy again in September when his "numbers went south - dramatically and quickly". And I've loved his show for years.

Trebek graduated from U of O with a philosophy degree in 1961 but he still has a strong presence on campus - the Alumni Hall is named after him and his previous donations established the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue in 2017. "I've lived a good life, a full life, and I'm nearing the end of that life ... if it happens, why should I be afraid of that?"

Alex Trebek appeared on the CTV news program W5 and admitted the treatments are really taking their toll, and that it may not be much longer before he'll have to step down from the Jeopardy! podium.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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