“Jeopardy!” fans got a sad surprise on Thursday night when host Alex Trebek paused the game show to warn them about how “terrible” pancreatic cancer is in honor of World Pancreatic Cancer Day. The episode was recorded just days before the disease would take Trebek’s life earlier this month when he was 80 years-old.
Alex Trebek’s Pancreatic Cancer PSA Airs On ‘Jeopardy!’
While watching Thursday’s episode of ‘Jeopardy!”, fans felt a pang of loss as the late and much beloved host Alex Trebek spoke about pancreatic cancer.
As a pancreatic cancer fighter himself, Trebek knows the cost of this deadly disease all too well. So he took this opportunity to inform and remind his fans.
“Before we get into today’s match, a word about today,” Trebek began.
“Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day and if you or anyone you know has developed some of the symptoms that I have talked about in the past then by all means, get to a doctor, get yourself tested. I want you to be safe. This is a terrible, terrible disease.”
Before he passed away of pancreatic cancer, Alex Trebek recorded several episodes of Jeopardy ahead of time.
This was his special message for World Pancreatic Cancer day.
Get out the tissues.pic.twitter.com/6bdYaDXSfH 
— Goodable (@Goodable) November 20, 2020 
The official “Jeopardy!” Twitter account got in on the action as well with a World Pancreatic Cancer Day post of their own.
“Today is #WorldPancreaticCancerDay. Wear purple in honor of Alex, and help raise awareness for the risks and symptoms of pancreatic cancer,” read the post, which also included a photo of Trebek and his wife, Jean, both dressed in purple and white.
“It’s about time we stop taking for granted the preciousness of each day and start living in the full experience of kindness and coherency,” Jean was quoted as saying in the post.
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 19, 2020 
Alex Trebek’s Wife First Noticed His Symptoms
It was actually Jean, Trebek’s wife of thirty years, who noticed the very first symptoms of cancer in her husband in December of 2018.
They were on a family vacation in Israel when she noticed that Trebek’s complexion looked different.
Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to detect early because there are few symptoms before it is too late, but jaundice or yellowing of the skin/whites of the eyes is one of them. Had Jean not noticed this when she did, Trebek may not have been able to survive nearly as long as he did battling the disease.
Last fall, Trebek filmed a PSA in which he revealed that another symptom he’d been suffering from prior to his diagnosis was stomach pain.
“I wish I had known earlier that the persistent stomach pain I experienced prior to my diagnosis was a symptom of pancreatic cancer,” he said.
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
Today reported  that the list of symptoms for pancreatic cancer includes:
- Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
- Light-colored stools
- Dark urine
- Itchy skin
- Pain in the upper or middle abdomen and back
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling very tired
- Nausea and vomiting
Less than 20% of pancreatic cancers are still confined to the pancreas by the time they are discovered.
That’s why it’s important to stay vigilant when it comes to checking yourself for this deadly disease.
Please share this message to inform your friends and loves ones how to look out for the signs of pancreatic cancer in memory of Alex Trebek.