Alex Trebek on ongoing cancer treatment: 'I'm not afraid of dying'

"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek
"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek is currently undergoing his second round of chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer.

Trebek, 79, sat down for an interview with Canada's CTV, talking about effects of the treatment, as well as continuing to host the show.

"I'm hanging in," the Ontario native said. "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 it forever of course.

"They'll have to find a new protocol or whatever to administer. We'll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose."

Trebek said he lost his hair in the most recent round of chemotherapy, and even though it started to grow back a little, he wears a wig on the show.

"But now it's gone again, and I'm back to wearing the creation of another man,'' he said.

He also has had sores in his mouth that make it difficult for a host known for his perfect diction to enunciate his words.

"I'm sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they're forgiving," he said. "But there will come a point when they (fans and producers) will no longer be able to say, ‘It's ok.' ''

Trebek, who is a father of two, spoke openly with CTV about his mortality.

"I'm not afraid of dying," he said. "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?

"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.'"

Trebek announced in March that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

"I was doing so well and my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer. So we were all very optimistic," Trebek said.

"I lost about 12 pounds in a week and my numbers went sky-high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed. So, the doctors have decided that I must undergo chemo again. So that's what I'm doing."

Trebek, who has been the host of "Jeopardy!" since 1984. "Jeopardy!" airs weekdays at 7:30 p.m. on Local 4.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter.