A lot of people were shocked a couple of months ago when they heard that Alex Trebek was suffering from pancreatic cancer. That shock turned into sympathy very quickly when it was revealed that very few patients that contract this type of cancer ever survive five years beyond their diagnosis. So when Janice Williams of Newsweek reported that his cancer seems to be in remission it was easy to think that people who know the famous game show host or are fond of him breathed a very big sigh of relief. In fact his doctors apparently haven’t seen this kind of reaction in such a case before and have been very positive thus far that Alex might be in the clear after another round or so of chemotherapy, to which his body has been responding quite well. The tumors caused by pancreatic cancer are typically known to spread throughout the body without cease, but the tumors in Alex’s body have actually shrunk a bit as the reports state. This of course is good news and worth celebrating since it means that there is a decent chance that he’ll be sticking around for a while.
Lisa Respers France of CNN is another voice in the midst of this good news that has stated that the survival rate of this type of cancer is typically 9 percent, a very low rate that doesn’t allow for a lot of people to look forward to the future if they’re afflicted with pancreatic cancer. So far he’s been receiving a great deal of support from people he knows, fans, and audience members that are aware of just how serious this condition can be. To think that he might actually beat this thing is great, but there’s always the problem of a cancer growing resistant to chemotherapy. As Rachel Raettner of Live Science indicates this can happen as some cancers do tend to come back and treatments need to be started again and possibly altered. It’s a bit of a wet blanket for a discussion such as this but it’s also something important to keep in mind since it is a very real development that can and has happened in the past.
For now though it’s enough to enjoy the idea that Alex might be out of harms way soon and able to stop worrying quite as much about his condition. Anyone that’s ever been through this or been around those that have experienced a run-in with cancer of any type know too well that’s a very scary proposition and tends to take a very heavy toll on the body and the emotions of those involved. Trebek has been part of American culture for so long that the instant thought of losing him in a manner such as this was hard to fathom. That’s how much people care about the icons that have helped to make our entertainment what it is. They tend to become a part of our lives in a way that we don’t always acknowledge but can at least admit is important since without them we feel a certain void that’s opened up and needs to be filled or forgotten in order to move on. For many Trebek has been the host of Jeopardy! for so long that trying to see anyone else fill the spot is simply ludicrous since it wouldn’t feel right. But given that he’s getting older now and his health did take a turn for the worse a couple months back it’s enough to say that things are going to change whether we like them or not.
Cancer isn’t exactly a friendly or caring condition that allows a person to fade off slowly and peacefully as it’s usually quite aggressive and will take an affected individual in a manner that’s anything but pleasant. Chemotherapy is, as many have described it, one of the more unpleasant treatments that can be used for many types of cancer, though it usually depends on the age, the physical health, and the willingness of the affected individual to go through it. Alex went into this knowing that he was going to fight this condition, and for the past two months he’s been doing what he can to carry on and make it work the way it needs to. Obviously that’s paid off at this time since he can breathe a big sigh of relief and express his gratitude for the doctors that have been working so hard with him. It’s a big hope that he’ll continue to see the cancer fade and possibly be alright in the months to come since things appear to be going quite well at this time.
Our favorite cultural icons won’t be here forever, but it’s great that we get to enjoy them now. Here’s to hoping for the best for Mr. Trebek.