Entertainment

Alex Trebek Says He Will Stop Cancer Treatment if the Latest Round Isn’t Successful

Alex Trebek has given an update on the treatment plan for his stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

The longtime Jeopardy! host, 79, recently told The New York Times that he plans to stop treatment if his current round isn’t successful, but “he’s currently doing well,” a rep for the star shares with PEOPLE.

He told the Times that taping for Jeopardy!, which he began hosting in 1984, is helping build his strength.

“Oddly enough, when we started taping I suddenly started to regain my strength,” he said, after noting that he could hardly get out of bed in the morning. “It’s the strangest thing. It is some kind of an elixir.”

Though the game show is not airing new tapings, Trebek has been recording show openings in his home for upcoming special episodes of Jeopardy! that will air starting July 20, as well as promotional videos and updates.

In a YouTube video shared on Thursday, he told fans he’s “feeling great” while continuing his cancer treatment amid the game show’s hiatus due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”I am doing well. I have been continuing my treatment and it is paying off, though it does fatigue me a great deal. My numbers are good. I am feeling great,” he said in the video, adding that he “even wrote a book” during his time away from the studio. His memoir, The Answer Is …Reflections on My Life, will be out on July 21.

Trebek celebrated surviving one year since his 2019 cancer diagnosis this March. In a video, he noted that despite there being only an 18 percent one-year survival rate for patients, he had passed that milestone — and plans to celebrate another one next year.

“I am very happy to report that I have just reached that marker,” he said at the time, referring to the survival statistic. Still, he admitted the journey hasn’t been easy, having fought several ups and downs.

In May 2019, Trebek told PEOPLE that his first round of chemo had gone so well that some of his tumors had shrunk by 50 percent. However, later in the summer, he said his numbers had gone back up, and he would undergo another round of chemo — the side effects of which could leave him feeling depleted and oftentimes, depressed.

In his interview with The New York Times, Trebek said that while he wants to continue hosting Jeopardy!, he does worry that his performance is declining.

“It’s a quality program, and I think I do a good job hosting it, and when I start slipping, I’ll stop hosting,” he said.

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