Alex Trebek has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
The Canadian-born Jeopardy! host made the revelation in a video posted to the show’s official social media channels on Wednesday afternoon.
“Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” he said. “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,” he said.
He then joked that he has to keep working due to contractual obligations.
“Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years! So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done.”
WATCH: Support pours in for Alex Trebek after announcement of pancreatic cancer diagnosis
Trebek, 78, has hosted Jeopardy! since 1984, winning five daytime Emmys for outstanding game show host. He was born in Sudbury, Ont., and attended the University of Ottawa.
He was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2017.
In the video, Trebek said he went public with the diagnosis to be transparent with fans and prevent them from hearing “overblown or inaccurate reports” about his health.
Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the five-year survival rate from 2008 to 2014 was 8.5 per cent. Stage 4 is the most advanced form of the disease.
In Canada, an estimated 5,500 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 4,800 died from it in 2017, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Well wishes from celebrities and prominent Canadians poured in on social media following Trebek’s announcement.
“We, the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex,” said Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted, “Keep fighting, Alex — Canadians are rooting for you!”
Keep fighting, Alex – Canadians are rooting for you! https://t.co/EY3Tm1uKVx
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 7, 2019
Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings compared Trebek to Walter Cronkite — an “authoritative, reassuring TV voice you hear every night, almost to the point of ritual.”
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said, “To Alex Trebek: know that the prayers of millions of people around the world, including from my family, are with you as you face this challenge head-on.”
One thing I know for a fact: Alex is very aware of how much he means to millions of people, and how we will be pulling for him…I hope that’s a comfort.
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) March 6, 2019
I’m sure I’m among many loyal @Jeopardy viewers who are shocked by this news. To Alex Trebek: know that the prayers of millions of people around the world, including from my family, are with you as you face this challenge head-on. All the best. https://t.co/p9ehsedhFM
— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) March 6, 2019
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) March 6, 2019
Oh! Sending healing vibes to Alex Trebek. https://t.co/eHWEeYwHY7
— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) March 7, 2019
So terribly sorry to hear this about Alex Trebek. Very fine man. https://t.co/RqugMUlQeb
— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) March 6, 2019
Sad news about #Alextrebek and his cancer diagnosis. my love to his entire family. ❤️❤️
— Gates McFadden (@gates_mcfadden) March 6, 2019
Sending all my love, thoughts and prayers to Alex Trebek.
You are my hero. ❤️❤️🙏🙏pic.twitter.com/CcXhVtqUT8
— Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) March 6, 2019
Best wishes and prayers to Alex Trebek in his fight against pancreatic cancer. I look forward to the day when the #Jeopardy clue is “This long time TV personality recently beat pancreatic cancer.” Looking forward to chatting with you, again, #Alextrebek https://t.co/rxZWwDeCXY
— Mark Critch (@markcritch) March 6, 2019
I just want to say to Alex Trebek I know you can kick cancers ass. You are the true daily double and the ultimate Jeopardy! champion in my eyes.
Lots of positive energy coming your way from so many sir.
— Dane Cook (@DaneCook) March 6, 2019
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