Jeopardy host Alex Trebek’s recent diagnosis helps raise awareness about pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Alex Trebek is a household name. He stole America’s hearts 35 years ago as the host of the popular game show, Jeopardy!

Earlier this week, Trebek announced that he has been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer -- and he will fight it.

Karon Bascom is from Vicksburg. She appeared on Jeopardy just two months ago.

“We taped in January and he seemed like he does every night on TV. When he released he had stage four pancreatic cancer I was surprised. I had no idea.”

Bascom says he was in good spirits throughout the whole show.

“He seemed happy and healthy. He was joking with the audience in-between rounds. Very friendly. You would have had no idea he was ill.”

Of all cancers, pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate. The scariest part is people show little to no symptoms before it’s too late.

“By the time it is symptomatic, it is problematic. By the time you show symptoms, it is already pretty extensive.”

Dr. John Ruckdeschel is the executive director of the University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute. Here are the signs he says you should be on the lookout for.

“When you have any persistent pain, you need to get it checked out," he said. "The biggest thing is unexplained weight loss. You need to get it checked because pancreatic cancer could be on the list of what’s causing it.”

Dr. Ruckdeschel says despite the circumstances, he applauds Trebek for fighting the good fight and continuing the show. “It was brave of him.”

Along with millions of Jeopardy! fans, Karen Buscom says she will continue to root for her favorite game show host.

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