Canadian TV icon Alex Trebek just received some excellent news. According to People, Alex Trebek, who is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer, was told by his doctors back in early May that he has been responding incredibly well to chemotherapy. The 78-year-old Jeopardy! host says that his treatment has reportedly shrunk some of his tumours by as much as 50 percent.
“The doctors said that they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory,” Trebek gushed during an interview with the magazine. “It’s kind of mind-boggling. I’ve already gone from where I was to this. The doctors are so excited, just beside themselves with joy.”
Trebek was, of course, incredibly affected by the news. “I got a little emotional,” he said while talking about the shocking news. “But these were tears of joy — not tears of great depression.”
The heartwarming update is the first bit of good news to come from the decade-spanning game show host’s camp since he announced his diagnosis. Trebek first went public with his illness back in March. The host confessed at the time that he had been battling depression and that he was in such terrible pain that he writhed on the floor on set.
Here is Alex's original on-air statement about his diagnosis:
Unfortunately, Trebek isn’t out of the woods just yet. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is not good. The percentage for survival sitting is just 9 percent. Due to its lack of warning signs and symptoms, pancreatic cancer often isn’t detected until it is in its latest stage.
However, the good news appears to have lifted Trebek's spirits and reaffirmed his appreciation for his fans and their well-wishes:
"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," he said during an interview with ABC. “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."