Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek releases PSA to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer

Sabrina Barr
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Alex Trebek has released a public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer almost eight months after disclosing his diagnosis.

In March, the Jeopardy! host revealed he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.

The Canadian-American television personality said that he hopes to “beat the low survival rate statistics” for the disease, which in the UK has a five-year survival rate of seven per cent.

In the lead-up to World Pancreatic Cancer Day, which takes place on 21 November, Trebek has released a PSA on YouTube in partnership with the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition to educate on the risks and symptoms of the health condition.

“In nearly every country, pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a five-year survival rate in the single digits,” Trebek said in the video.

“Now in order to help patients fight and survive this disease, more attention and awareness are needed, and that’s why I’ve joined forces with the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, to help raise global awareness of the risks and symptoms of pancreatic cancer.”

Trebek explained that he wished he had been able to spot the signs of pancreatic cancer sooner, having experienced “persistent stomach pain” prior to his diagnosis.

“Other common symptoms can include mid back pain, unexplained weight loss, new onset diabetes and the yellowing of the skin or eyes,” the 79-year-old outlined.

Trebek concluded the PSA by urging members of the public to spread awareness of the disease throughout November, which marks Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

“Together, we can get it done,” he stated.

Pancreatic cancer, states organisation Pancreatic Cancer UK, occurs when cells in the pancreas grow abnormally, forming a cancerous tumour in the pancreas, which is situated in the abdomen.

While common symptoms including abdominal and back pain, unexplained weight loss and indigestion, other signs of the cancer can include loss of appetite, nausea and difficulty swallowing.

According to the charity, it is unknown exactly what causes pancreatic cancer. However, there is “good evidence” to suggest that various factors may increase one’s risk, including being overweight, smoking, having a family history of pancreatic cancer and having diabetes.

Treatment for pancreatic cancer may involve undergoing surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Earlier this month, Trebek said he had some regrets about going public with his pancreatic cancer diagnosis during an interview with CTV.

He added that he is not afraid of dying, stating: “I’m 79 years old. Hey, I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life.”

For more information about pancreatic cancer, visit the Pancreatic Cancer UK website here.

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