'Jeopardy!' Host Alex Trebek Announces He Has Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer

Alex Trebek, the host of Jeopardy! since 1984, announced Wednesday he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Trebek filmed a brief, stoic video that published on YouTube today. He said he wanted to personally address his fans, given his long-standing policy of "being open and transparent" to his game show's fan base. He also said he was delivering the message to prevent people from hearing third-hand reports that may be inaccurate or overblown about his health.

"Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer," Trebek said. "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 for this disease.

"Truth told, I have to. Under the terms of my contract, I have to host "Jeopardy!" three more years."

Trebek, 78, considered retirement last year before signing a three-year extension that would take him through the 2021-22 season, according to TMZ.com.

Trebek was born in Canada and has made a career out of quiz shows. He started with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1961, reporting news and local events. He went on to host a high school quiz show and moved to the United States in 1973, when he hosted a show called Wizard of Odds. He took over as Jeopardy! host in 1984. Even when he battled illness or mild heart attacks in the last decade, the show never had a guest host, according to TMZ.

Trebek's popularity goes beyond his time slot during the afternoons. He's often been parodied on Saturday Night Live, with Will Farrell playing Trebek.

Before he signed his contract extension, Trebek suggested that his possible replacement should either be attorney Laura Coates or Los Angeles Kings play-by-play announcer Alex Faust.

Jeopardy! is a popular quiz show that has an unusual twist. Instead of asking questions to contestants and awaiting their answers, Trebek gives the answers and waits for the questions.

Now Trebek seeks answers to fight stage 4 cancer, and he asked his fans for their support. He said together they'll "get it done."

"So help me," he said. "Keep the faith, and we'll win. We'll get it done."