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Alex Trebek talks about losing his hair, struggling to enunciate due to chemotherapy

The legendary "Jeopardy!" host spoke about the effects of chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer and how he is "not afraid of dying."
/ Source: TODAY

Chemotherapy treatments have caused Alex Trebek to wear a wig and struggle to enunciate his words due to sores in his mouth, but it hasn't stopped him from hosting his 36th season of "Jeopardy!"

Trebek, 79, spoke to Canada's CTV about his treatments for stage 4 pancreatic cancer and his perseverance to continue hosting the iconic game show despite the effects of his treatments.

Image: Image: FILE: "Jeopardy!" Host Alex Trebek Diagnosed With Cancer The NAB Achievement In Broadcasting Dinner
Alex Trebek has endured losing his hair and sores in his mouth from chemotherapy as he continues to host "Jeopardy!" while being treated for pancreatic cancer. Ethan Miller / Getty Images

"I'm hanging in," the Ontario native said. "So we're back on the chemo and we'll see if the numbers go down. And if they do... they can't keep doing it forever of course.

"They’ll have to find a new protocol or whatever to administer. We'll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose."

Trebek said he lost his hair in the most recent round of chemotherapy, and even though it started to grow back a little, he wears a wig on the show.

"But now it's gone again, and I'm back to wearing the creation of another man,'' he said.

He also has had sores in his mouth that make it difficult for a host known for his perfect diction to enunciate his words.

"I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving," he said. "But there will come a point when they (fans and producers) will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s ok.' ''

Trebek announced last month that he needed more chemotherapy, after having returned to work in August thinking his treatments were done and that he was "on the mend."

He told CTV that his numbers were that of a person without cancer when he returned to work, but then went up 50% higher than when he was first diagnosed, prompting more chemotherapy.

He revealed his diagnosis in March and vowed to beat the odds for surviving pancreatic cancer, which often comes with a grim prognosis. More than 90% of patients die within five years of learning they have the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

Trebek, who is a father of two, spoke openly with CTV about his mortality.

"I’m not afraid of dying," he said. "I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life … if it happens, why should I be afraid of it?

"One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral, as a part of a eulogy, is ‘He was taken from us too soon.’”