Three months after announcing his diagnosis of stage four pancreatic cancer, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek told PEOPLE about a “mind-boggling” update: He’s “near remission,” according to his doctors.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” the beloved host told the magazine.
“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,” he said.
The 78-year-old will “still have to go through several more rounds of chemotherapy to hopefully get into full remission, but he’s elated at how far he’s come,” according to PEOPLE.
Trebek said he cried “tears of joy” upon hearing the encouraging medical update.
“I’ve got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed towards me, and their prayers,” noted the host. “I told the doctors, this has to be more than just the chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this.”
“I’ve got a lot of love out there headed in my direction and a lot of prayer, and I will never, ever minimize the value of that,” added Trebek.
In early March, Trebek made the shocking cancer announcement in a video posted to social media. Though the outlook for stage four pancreatic cancer is grim, he vowed to fight.
“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,” he said in the video, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “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 four pancreatic cancer.”
“I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working,” he added. “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.”
In mid-April, Trebek gave an update on his status, telling the public that he was “feeling good” and will host another season of Jeopardy!
“Some of you may recall that at the beginning of this season I promised you that we had some surprises in store for you. Well, of course, I had no idea at that time that there were some surprises in store for me as well,” he said in another video message.
“I wanted to once again thank you for your continuing messages of encouragement and support particularly the many cards I’ve received from young people. I’m touched beyond words,” the host continued. “I’ve always tried to be straight with you and I’m not going to stop now, so despite what you may have heard, I’m feeling good. I’m continuing with my therapy and we — by we, the staff — is already working on our next season. ... So I look forward to seeing you once again in September with all kinds of good stuff.”