Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek is opening up about his ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer. Just weeks after revealing that he would undergo chemotherapy again after a "dismal" summer, the 79-year-old game show host spoke to Canada's CTV about his treatments and the effects they are having on his hosting abilities.
“I'm hanging in," Trebek told CTV News' Lisa LaFlamme. “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. They’ll have to find a new protocol or whatever to administer. We'll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose."
The Ontario native and father of two, who announced in September that his “numbers" took a concerning spike, went on to reveal the adverse effects that he is experiencing as a result of his most recent chemotherapy treatments, admitting that they are beginning to impact his Jeopardy! hosting abilities.
“I can be sitting in my dressing room and I get up and I’m not able to move, but all of the sudden when Johnny says ‘And now, here is the host of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek,’ OK, let’s go,” Trebek said, adding that he now wears a wig on the show due to losing his hair during in the most recent round of chemotherapy. “But now it's gone again, and I'm back to wearing the creation of another man.”
Trebek also explained that the chemo has caused sores in his mouth that can make it difficult for him to enunciate his words.
“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.' ''
Still, the longtime host, who has signed on to host through 2022, says that he doesn’t plan to step away from the gameshow just yet.
“I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish,” he said.
In March of this year, Trebek announced that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer telling fans that he intended to fight the low survival rates. In May, he revealed he was in "near remission" and that his tumors "shrunk by more than 50 percent."
"It’s kind of mind-boggling," Trebek said 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."
Trebek has been the host of Jeopardy! for 35 years, taking over from host Art Fleming in 1984.