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Tuesday, March 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Alex Trebek announces ‘Jeopardy!’ return now that chemotherapy is done

Alex Trebek attends the “SNL 40th Anniversary Celebration” at Rockefeller Plaza on Feb.15, 2015, in New York. (Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres / TNS)
Alex Trebek attends the “SNL 40th Anniversary Celebration” at Rockefeller Plaza on Feb.15, 2015, in New York. (Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres / TNS)
By Christie D’Zurilla Los Angeles Times

Alex Trebek is done with pancreatic cancer treatment and back at work on the “Jeopardy!” set, he announced Thursday in a video on social media.

“I’ve gone through a lot of chemotherapy, and thankfully that is now over,” he said. “I’m on the mend, and that’s all I can hope for right now.”

The video shows Trebek taking some questions from the studio audience and being serenaded for his birthday, which was July 22.

“We have some exciting things coming up, and I can’t wait to share them with all of you. Let me tell you, it’s going to be a good year,” Trebek said, emphasizing the word “good.”

Trebek shared his Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis in early March, also via video.

“Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging,” he said at the time. “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, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”

In his first interview after that, Trebek quipped about the cosmetic effects of his chemo.

“What the challenge for ‘Jeopardy!’ viewers is right now is to figure out, ‘Is that Alex’s real hair, or is that a full hairpiece?,’ ” he said, jokingly, to Jane Pauley on “CBS This Morning.” The answer? That was fake hair.

He celebrated the end of production on Season 35 with a video posted in April, assuring fans that he was “feeling fine.”

“I’ve always tried to be straight with you, and I’m not going to stop now,” the 78-year-old said. “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.”

Then, by the end of May, his doctors were saying his tumors were shrinking at a “mind-boggling” rate.

“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%,” Trebek told People. It was an unexpected result, given that pancreatic cancer has a very low survival rate, and is considered largely incurable.

The quiz show’s 36th season begins with new episodes starting Sept. 9.

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