Alex Trebek Helps Raise Awareness For World Pancreatic Cancer Day Nov. 21

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Alex Trebek, host of high-profile television trivia show Jeopardy, will be the face of this year's World Pancreatic Cancer Day, happening Thursday, Nov. 21.

The popular television personality knows the deadly disease well. Trebek announced on March 6, 2019 that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and since then has been in and out of chemotherapy treatments to combat the disease. It's estimated that only three percent of stage IV pancreatic cancer patients are alive five years after their diagnosis.

"I wish I had known sooner that the persistent stomach pain I experienced prior to my diagnosis was a symptom of pancreatic cancer," said Trebek in a statement.

Characterized by tumors which grow on the pancreas, pancreatic cancer typically is difficult to diagnose in its early stages and can include symptoms such as pain in the back or abdomen, weight loss, loss of appetite, jaundice and recent-onset diabetes. More than 56,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S. in 2019.

Launched in 2014, World Pancreatic Cancer Day is an initiative of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition (WPCC), a group that includes more than 80 member organizations from more than 30 countries whose goal is to raise awareness and action about pancreatic cancer.

Some of ways to acknowledge World Pancreatic Cancer Day include: wearing purple on Nov. 21, raising awareness about the common symptoms of pancreatic cancer, and asking public officials to support greater government funding for pancreatic cancer research.

"On World Pancreatic Cancer Day, we unite as a global movement to advocate for early detection and better outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients," said Julie Fleshman, WPCC chair. "By raising awareness of pancreatic cancer risks and symptoms, we hope that people will be aware and alert their doctor sooner when there is more opportunity for intervention."

Watch Alex Trebek talk about World Pancreatic Cancer Day

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