Trebek diagnosis raises pancreatic cancer awareness

National News

CULVER CITY, Calif (KXAN) — Longtime host of the trivia game show “Jeopardy” Alex Trebek has announced Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Trebek was recently informed of his diagnosis and recorded a video to announce the news. He said he wants to be open and transparent with the “Jeopardy” fan base.

Trebek even joked in his announcement that he has to beat this illness in order to honor his contract to host “Jeopardy” for three more years.

You can watch his announcement below.

Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths

According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, in 2017, an estimated 53,670 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States, and approximately 43,090 died from the disease. 

The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is nine percent. That means only nine out of 100 people will live five years after their diagnosis. 

“Not a lot of people know about pancreatic cancer until they have to know about pancreatic cancer,” said Austin Goldberg. 

That’s what happened to him and his family in February 2016.

“You learn quickly, and you learn in a devastating way and you don’t forget.” 

Austin’s father Jerry was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died in October 2016. 

“This cancer moves fast, and it’s aggressive, and it’s devastating.”

He told KXAN Jerry fought every day to survive, so now, carrying on his father’s determination, Austin volunteers and works with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. 

“You have your moments of being extremely upset and anger, and then you wake up one day and you say we’ve got one choice, let’s go fight this thing,” Austin said. 

He’s raising money for this year’s Purple Stride 5K —the walk supports research for early detection.

Often, pancreatic cancer isn’t discovered until it’s too late. The organ is hidden behind the stomach, and the symptoms are vague. 

Austin and many other families hope raising money for research for early detection will help increase the survival rate one percent at a time. 

“One percent really isn’t much but one percent is a lot of dads who are still around and a lot of moms, a lot of cousins and loved ones.”

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