IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Alex Trebek opens up about cancer treatment, reveals some tumors have shrunk by 50%

The "Jeopardy!" host, who's battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer, has been responding well to chemotherapy treatments.
/ Source: TODAY

Alex Trebek believes in the power of positive thinking — and he's vowing to beat the odds as he battles stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

In this week's People magazine cover story, on newsstands Friday, the beloved "Jeopardy!" host, 78, revealed he's responding so well to chemotherapy treatments, some of his tumors have already shrunk by more than 50%.

"The doctors said that they hadn't seen this kind of positive result in their memory," he shared. "It's kind of mind-boggling. I've already gone from where I was to this. The doctors are so excited, just beside themselves with joy."

Image: 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards - Press Room
Trebek, who's hosted "Jeopardy" since 1984, received a standing ovation after winning a Daytime Emmy earlier this month.Gregg DeGuire / Getty Images

"I got a little emotional," he added. "But these were tears of joy — not tears of great depression."

Trebek, who revealed his cancer diagnosis in a video message to fans on March 6, stayed on the job as he began chemotherapy, taping five episodes of "Jeopardy!" twice each week until the show went on summer hiatus in April.

During that time, he suffered through chemo's side effects, including hair loss and the loss of his sense of taste.

Through it all, he's stayed upbeat thanks in no small part to the steadfast support of his wife of 29 years, Jean Currivan, and their children, Matthew, 28, and Emily, 25.

"They're very positive and until I demonstrate otherwise, they're going to continue in that vein," he shared.

He's also been showered with love from "Jeopardy!" fans.

"I had a couple of million people out there who expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy and their prayers. The doctors said it could very well be an important part of this," he noted.

Though the survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer is less than 10%, Trebek is facing his fight with courage — and hope.

"There's always a reason to hope," he said. "If I'm going to be the public spokesperson for pancreatic cancer, my message to others is this: 'Let's be positive.'"