Amid his ongoing battle with cancer, longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has launched a new public service announcement to help raise awareness for pancreatic cancer, a disease that he has been battling since last March. In a PSA posted to the World Pancreatic Cancer Day YouTube page on Tuesday, Trebek opens up about his own experiences with the disease as well as the symptoms that some may overlook.
“I wished I had known sooner that the persistent stomach pain I experienced prior to my diagnosis was a symptom of pancreatic cancer,” Trebek says in the clip from the Jeopardy! stage. “Other common symptoms can include mid-back pain, unexplained weight loss, new onset diabetes and the yellowing of the skin or eyes.”
Trebek goes on to ask his fans to “join me in this fight,” encouraging them to “participate in November by wearing purple, spreading the word on social media, and visiting WorldPancreaticCancerDay.org to learn more.”
“Together, we can get it done,” Trebek ends the video.
In March, Trebek made the heartbreaking announcement that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, promising his fans that he was “going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working.”
He told in May PEOPLE his cancer was in "near remission" following several round of chemotherapy, stating that his tumors "shrunk by more than 50 percent.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” Trebek told the magazine at the time. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory… some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.”
In September, however, during an appearance on Good Morning America, the 79-year-old game show host revealed that he would have to undergo further chemotherapy after his "numbers" took a concerning spike.
“In terms of getting my strength back, that hasn't happened, unfortunately," he said. "I was doing so well, and my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer, so we were all very optimistic. And they said good, we're gonna stop chemo, we'll start immunotherapy."
After that, Trebek “lost about 12 pounds in a week and my numbers went sky high — much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed, so the doctors have decided that I have to undergo chemo again."
Earlier this month, Trebek confessed that his cancer treatments have begun to affect his hosting abilities, though he again promised to continue returning to the Jeopardy! stage.
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