Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek is back at work after finishing chemotherapy. The beloved 79-year-old game show host said he is excited to move on after his battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Trebek announced his diagnosis in March and said in May he was already "near remission."
"I've gone through a lot of chemotherapy and thankfully that is now over," Trebek said in a promotional video for Jeopardy! Season 36, released on Thursday. "I'm on the mend and that's all I can hope for right now."
Trebek celebrated his 79th birthday in July. The Jeopardy! team shared a photo of Trebek with his wife, Jean Currivan Trebek, and their children Emily, 26, and Matthew, 29.
In May, Trebek told PEOPLE his cancer was in "near remission" and his tumors "shrunk by more than 50 percent."
“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” Trebek told the magazine. “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 said he went through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, which left him weak and depressed at times. He told PEOPLE his fans had a role in his recovery.
“I’ve got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed towards me and their prayers,” Trebek explained. “I told the doctors, this has to be more than just the chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this.”
“I’ve got a lot of love out there headed in my direction and a lot of prayer, and I will never ever minimize the value of that,” he continued.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 56,770 people are expected to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, and 45,750 will die from the disease. The survival rate is only about 9 percent.
“Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer," Trebek said in a video in March. "Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working. And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease."
Trebek has been hosting Jeopardy! since 1984 and is signed on to host through 2022.0comments
The show will be back in syndication with new episodes on Sept. 9.
Photo credit: Getty Images