'Jeopardy' host Alex Trebek announces he has stage 4 cancer in video message

'Jeopardy' host Alex Trebek announces he has stage 4 cancer in video message

On Wednesday, Alex Trebek, the iconic host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy!, announced that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Although the prognosis is not very encouraging, the 78-year-old said that he plans to fight the illness and will not stop working.

Here is his full message:

"Hi everyone, 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. 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. 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. 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. Thank you."

Trebek has hosted Jeopardy! since 1984, entertaining multiple generations of viewers. In 2014, he broke the Guinness World Record for the most gameshow episodes hosted by the same presenter (same program), after completing  6,829 episodes. It's impossible to imagine the show without his distinctive voice, and sardonic sense of humor - for example, who can forget the time he mocked nerds for not knowing the answers to football questions?

From mustache to no mustache, and glasses to no glasses, Trebek been a welcome presence in millions of people's homes for 35 years. On Twitter, fans are sending the legendary host messages of love and support, hoping that he overcomes the brutal disease. As one person wrote, "Dear God, I regret to inform you that you may not have Alex Trebek. We still need him here. Thank you for your understanding."

Long-running Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak posted a message of support, writing, "The Sajak family is deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s struggle with cancer. Our hearts go out to him and his family. But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him. We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex."

In addition to Jeopardy!, Trebek hosted a number of game shows, including The Wizard of Odds, Double Dare and To Tell the Truth. He also appeared as himself on several TV shows, including Family Guy, Saturday Night Live, Orange Is The New Black, The Simpsons and RuPaul's Drag Race.