"I want you to be safe. This is a terrible, terrible disease," he told viewers in the show segment for World Pancreatic Cancer Day

By Benjamin VanHoose
November 20, 2020 08:49 AM
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In a newly aired Jeopardy! segment, late host Alex Trebek raises awareness about pancreatic cancer.

At the start of Thursday night's episode of the trivia competition series, Trebek spoke about the "terrible disease" in a previously recorded segment timed to World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

On Nov. 8, eight days after hosting his final episode of Jeopardy!, which will air on Dec. 25Trebek died at home at age 80, surrounded by his beloved family and a small gathering of friends.

"Before we get into today's match, a word about today. Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day and if you or anyone you know has developed some of the symptoms that I have talked about in the past then by all means, get to a doctor, get yourself tested," Trebek said in the segment, according to Entertainment Tonight. "I want you to be safe. This is a terrible, terrible disease."

Alex Trebek
| Credit: Eric McCandless via Getty Images

The show also posted a statement on social media from Trebek's wife Jean about raising awareness about the risks and symptoms of pancreatic cancer. "It's about time we stop taking for granted the preciousness of each day and start living in the full experience of kindness and coherency," said Jean.

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After going on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, production on Jeopardy! resumed over the summer. The game show returned for its 37th season in September, with Trebek as host. New episodes featuring Trebek will continue to air through Christmas Day, Sony Pictures Television announced. Additional plans about the future of the show have yet to be announced.

Mike Richards, Jeopardy! executive producer, said in a statement earlier this month that the longtime host's death is "an enormous loss for the Jeopardy! staff, crew and all of Alex’s millions of fans."

"He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years," said Richards. "Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host Jeopardy! was an incredible honor. His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen."

"His constant desire to learn, his kindness and his professionalism will be with all of us forever," he added.

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Trebek revealed the news of his pancreatic cancer diagnosis to fans in March 2019. "I'm going to fight this and I'm going to keep working," he said at the time, returning to work a week later.

After undergoing months of treatment, the beloved TV star told viewers in August that he had finished his treatment and was doing better, before announcing one month later that he was once again undergoing chemotherapy.

Over the summer, as Jeopardy’s current season resumed production, Trebek told The New York Times that taping for the program was helping to build his strength. “Oddly enough, when we started taping I suddenly started to regain my strength,” he said. “It’s the strangest thing. It is some kind of an elixir.”