How Alex Trebek raised awareness about pancreatic cancer

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and amid the news of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek’s death, the lasting legacy he left on pancreatic cancer awareness and the patient community lives on. 

After Mr. Trebek shared the news of his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis in March 2019, he candidly spoke about the physical and emotional side effects that came along with the disease and its treatment, an effort that ultimately led to other people around the world recognizing early symptoms in themselves. A Jeopardy! viewer reached out to the show after seeing a public service announcement on cancer symptoms that Mr. Trebek recorded in October 2019 and said the information led him to get a cancer screening, where he was diagnosed with an early stage of pancreatic cancer, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, or PanCAN, wrote — just one of the many examples. 

In 2019, Mr. Trebek’s team helped raise nearly $60,000 at PanCAN’s PurpleStride event in Los Angeles. 

“By every measure, Trebek’s diagnosis and openness have impacted PanCAN and our efforts,” said Julie Fleshman, PanCAN president and CEO. “We saw an immediate and sustained increase in the number of people visiting our website for information and resources, more people donating to the cause, more people registering for PurpleStride events and more.” 

World Pancreatic Cancer Day is Nov. 19.

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