Alex Trebek, the popular longtime host of the classic game show Jeopardy, revealed to fans Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
"Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer," Trebek said in a video announcement from the set of the game show.
Trebek said he wanted to share the news to stay true to his "policy of being open and transparent" with the show's loyal fan base.
"I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health," he said. "So therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information."
The iconic game show host said the prognosis is not very encouraging, but reassured fans that he would "fight this" and was going to "keep working."
"I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease," he said, asking fans for their prayers.
"Truth told," he joked, "I have to because under the terms of my contract I have to host Jeopardy for three more years!"
"So help me," he asked viewers. "Keep the faith and we'll get it done."
According to the Mayo Clinic, pancreatic cancer is rarely caught in its early stages and the disease — which usually presents with symptoms including fatigue, blood clotting, and pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to one's back — has a five-year survival rate of 7%.
A stage 4 diagnosis indicates that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Fans of the host expressed their sadness on Twitter after the news broke.
"Mr. Trebek is revered in my household and millions of others' and I wish him nothing but the full treatment and complete recovery he deserves," critic Dan Murrell wrote.
Comedian Ike Barinholtz said he was "pulling for" the beloved host.
There were also well-wishes from Pat Sajak, host of Wheel of Fortune, who said, "Our hearts go out to him and his entire family."
Trebek has hosted Jeopardy for more than 30 years, beginning when he took the job after the show was revived in 1984.