By Jess Valence
Alex Trebek has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He shared his news in a video post.
In the video he states:
“I have some news to share with all of you, and it’s in keeping with my longtime policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy fan base,” Trebek says. “I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health. So, therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information. Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.”
What is Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells in the pancreas grow out of control and form a growth or tumor. (Not all tumors are cancerous, non-cancerous tumors are called benign, while cancerous tumors are malignant) In Alex’s case, he has a malignant tumor in his pancreas that spread to other areas of his body.
The pancreas is an organ in the abdomen; part of the digestive system that helps facilitate digestive functions and blood sugar regulations. Alex states that he has been diagnosed with stage IV (4), this means that cancer has spread to other parts of his body, such as the bowel, liver, lungs, spleen or stomach. Stages in cancer are determined by the size and spread of cancer.²
Learn About The Different Stages of Pancreatic Cancer & Alex’s Likely Treatment Plan
Stage 0 means that there is a minute amount of abnormal cells. Stage I means the cancer is small and only in one area. These are also called early-stage cancer. Stage II and III mean the cancer is larger and has grown into nearby tissues or lymph nodes. Stage IV means cancer has spread to other parts of your body.¹
Since Alex’s cancer has been categorized as stage IV it means that the surgeons cannot remove it, and there is no cure. His treatment will most likely involve managing pain and other symptoms to improve his quality of life.
Pancreatic Cancer 2019 Stats — The Most Up-To-Date Numbers
In 2018, it is estimated by the National Cancer Institute² that there will be 55,440 new cases of pancreatic cancer in the U.S. Pancreatic cancer is more common with increasing age and slightly more common in men than women. The number of new cases of pancreatic cancer was 12.6 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2011–2015 cases.
Our Cancer Patient App Community
We at GRYT are saddened to hear Alex’s news. We interact with patients daily that have a similar diagnosis through our GRYT Health Cancer Community app, available on iOS or Android. If you or someone you know is going through a pancreatic or another type of cancer diagnosis, we’d love to help support. Please share our app information so that no one has to be in this fight alone.
¹When interacting with people who have been diagnosed with cancer it is important to remember that there is no “good” cancer type or stage.
²SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Pancreatic Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/pancreas.html