Transcript for Alex Trebek shares 'mind-boggling' cancer update
We are back with a hopeful update on Alex trebek. The "Jeopardy" host says he's making, quote, mind boggling progress in his battle against stage four pancreatic cancer. He is revealing this in the brand-new already of "People" magazine and says some of his tumors have shrunk by more than 50% and linsey Davis is here with more. Good morning. The 78-year-old game show host is sharing good news with "People" magazine about how well he's responding to chemotherapy and mostly credits well wishes from fans and friends around the world. Just three months after vowing to fight -- With the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease. Reporter: Alex trebek says he's making huge strides in his fight against pancreatic cancer. The 78-year-old revealing he's responding so well to chemotherapy that some of his tumors have already shrunk by more than 50%. Trebek telling "People" magazine, the doctors said that they hadn't seen this kind of positive result in their memory adding, 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. It's only been about two or three months since he was diagnosed and it's stage four pancreatic cancer so to be responding so well so fast is just really miraculous. Reporter: That news from his doctors brought both him and his wife Jean to tears saying I got a little emotional but these were tears of joy, not tears of great depression. But there have been tears of sadness. Trebek opened up to robin Roberts earlier this month about the emotional impact his illness has taken. My oncologist tells me I'm doing well, even though I don't always feel it. I've had kidney stones, I've had ruptured discs so I'm used to dealing with pain but what I'm not used to dealing with is these social medias that come on suddenly of deep, deep sadness and it brings tears to my eyes. I've discovered in this whole episode, ladies and gentlemen, that I'm a bit of a wuss and -- but I'm fighting through it. The numbers that indicate the cancer -- the cancer indicators, those are coming down. Good. So I've got another chemo next week and then we'll do a review to find out where things stand. Bless you for being so honest in talking about the bad as well as the good. That's so helpful to do. Chemo affects people in different ways and people have to understand that and there's nothing wrong with saying, hey, I'm really depressed today and I have no idea why. Why am I crying today? Reporter: He credits the outpouring of love and support from his wife and children for helping him respond so well to treatment. I told the doctors, this has to be more than just chemo. I've had a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy and their prayers. The doctors said it could very well be an important part of this. He still has several more rounds of chemo in the hopes of getting to complete remission. "Jeopardy" is now on hiatus but plan nose return when they start taping. The new issue of people is on newsstands now and working on his next season, the 36th year of "Jeopardy." Let's bring in Dr. Jennifer Ashton. Good morning to you. Good morning. You hear this diagnosis. What goes through your mind? First of all when we hear anything like tumors shrinking, I want to be clear, that is good news regardless of how much they're shrinking even that they're not growing is good news and when you talk about the prognosis of a patient, any patient battling cancer, it's multifactorial. We look at a lot of things like the health of the patient before they were diagnosed. The type of cancer, the type of tumor, the location and size of those tumors and then the response to treatment and as we know, not all cancer is responsive to treatment so as soon as you see it's not growing and if the trumaners are getting smaller that is a big win. One of the things that is giving people pause, this was stage four pancreatic cancer. Beam think that's a death sentence. Well, listen, I want to say something about percentages because we hear it all the time, not just with pancreatic cancer but any type of cancer. Percentages are just that. They're percentage, they're statistics. They're a framework for treatment but I will tell you that any cancer specialist works with that patient as an individual and I say to patients, you're not going to be 9% alive in five years, you're either going to be 100% or 0% so it's part of the picture. How about his frame of mind and the idea that maybe all the support, emotional support he's getting is making a difference. It's big. There is no data but know the spirit is part of the person so mind/body connection, positive attitude and medicine is an art as well as a science so positive things, we can't put a science to it but it's there.
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