Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek revealed nearly three months ago that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. After undergoing chemotherapy, he announced Wednesday an optimistic health update during an interview with PEOPLE.
According to his doctors, Trebek’s cancer is “near remission.”
The American Cancer Society reports that for all the stages of pancreatic cancer, there is a one-year relative survival rate of 20 percent. The five-year rate falls to 9 percent.
The 78-year-old says, “It’s kind of mind-boggling.”
He continued, “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory … some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.”
Despite the good news, he still has to complete several more rounds of chemotherapy to, hopefully, get into full remission.
He announced his diagnosis in a YouTube video uploaded on March 6.
“Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year,” Trebek said, “this week, I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.”
He continued, “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.”
Trebek has hosted more than 7,000 episodes after becoming the acclaimed game show’s host in 1984.