Trebek’s death spotlights the importance of pancreatic cancer detection

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away on November 8, 2020 from Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.

Photo by: Eric McCandless

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away on November 8, 2020 from Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.

PanCAN, a national movement for fighting pancreatic cancer in a comprehensive way, designates November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Pancreatic cancer affects more than 57,000 people every year, and the five-year survival rate for a diagnosed individual is less than 9%. In spite of the grim outlook for the disease, PanCAN continues to fund research efforts, support the diagnosed holistically, and spread awareness. PanCAN also pushes the PurpleStrides Campaign, which hosts a series of walks and runs around the U.S. in support of raising awareness. On November 19, 2020, people around the world donned purple, the representative color for pancreatic cancer, for World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

On March 6, 2019, Alex Trebek announced his diagnosis of Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. Despite this, the Jeopardy! host continued his television career through his treatment, never wavering or leaving committed viewers without his smiling face, quick wit, or typical introductory banter. In his career, Trebek hosted over 8,000 episodes of Jeopardy!, leading him to break the Guinness World Record for Most Game Show Episodes Hosted by the Same Presenter. On November 8, 2020, ten days after his final filming session of Jeopardy!, Trebek passed away in his home in Los Angeles, CA, surrounded by loved ones and mourned by fans around the globe. Jeopardy! episodes with Trebek will continue to air through Christmas Day, and favorite Jeopardy! winner Ken Jennings will serve as interim host to temporarily replace the iconic, revered, 36-year-host.

In 2018, Emily Koski, a pancreatic cancer warrior, organized the annual Pancakes for Pancan Fun Run in the Salisbury neighborhood; garnering local and state support, the run raised funds for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and simply spread awareness in the Midlothian community. Pancakes for Pancan, an event full of light, positivity, and a delicious pancake breakfast, has plans to continue in 2021, but was unable to occur this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about PanCAN, click here.

For more information about Alex Trebek, click here.