Alex Trebek Gives Another Sad Update About His Cancer Fight

Alex Trebek is sharing a major health — and possible career — update with fans amid his ongoing battle against pancreatic cancer.

During an interview with news anchor Lisa Laflamme on CTV's W5 on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, the beloved game show host revealed some sad news: the physical side effects stemming from his chemotherapy treatments may eventually affect his longtime hosting gig on Jeopardy!

"There are weaknesses I feel in my body but I can always suck it up when it comes to tape the show," Trebek, 79, began to the Canadian news network. Noting that sores in his mouth, which were caused by his latest round of chemo, sometimes make it difficult for him to enunciate while speaking, the TV star added, "I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish."

Trebek, who is technically still under contract to host Jeopardy! for another three years, went on to say, "I'm sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they're forgiving. But there will come a point when [fans and producers] will no longer be able to say, 'It's okay.'"

This Alex Trebek update follows a recent health setback

Fans of Alex Trebek may recall that the Jeopardy! host first announced that he'd been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer back in March 2019 in a YouTube video titled, "A Message From Alex Trebek."

"Now normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this and I'm going to keep working," he revealed at the time. "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." This type of cancer has a 9 percent survival rate, according to the American Cancer Society.

Over the coming months, Trebek would keep viewers updated on his battle with the disease. By May, he announced to People that some of his tumors had "shrunk by more than 50 percent" following his first round of chemo, that he was "near remission," and that his doctors were optimistic.

However, as Nicki Swift previously reported, Trebek admitted to Good Morning America in September 2019 that his chemotherapy treatments had taken a toll on both his physical and mental health. "Occasionally, it will cause excruciating pain in my lower back," he said. "Other times, it's fatigue. Other times, it's nausea. It varies. Cancer is mysterious in more ways than one."

Explaining that this has sometimes led to bouts of depression, Trebek added, "It doesn't last very long, but it just takes over my whole being for a short period of time. I understand it more now, so I can deal with it a lot better than I did before."

Alex Trebek is staying positive amid his cancer fight

Ever since announcing his diagnosis with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Alex Trebek has remained positive throughout his subsequent treatments. "The thing I suppose that gives me the most optimism is that, hey, I'm still here," he explained to Good Morning America last month, for example. "I don't feel terrible."

The game show host echoed this sentiment during his recent interview with CTV's W5, during which he candidly opened up about why he's "not afraid of dying" as he continues to battle cancer. "I've lived a good life, a full life, and I'm nearing the end of that life ... if it happens, why should I be afraid that?" Trebek, who shares two children with wife of 29 years Jean Currivan, said. He went on to quip, "One thing they're not going to say at my funeral, as a part of a eulogy, is, 'He was taken from us too soon.'"

Clearly in high spirits and noting that he's "hanging in" there, Trebek revealed what's next in his cancer treatments. "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 [chemo] forever of course. They'll have to find a new protocol or whatever to administer," the seven-time Emmy winner said. Trebek continued, "We'll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose."