TAMPA, Fla. — Jeopardy host Alex Trebek knows the odds are against him with his Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis that he announced Wednesday.
- Doctor says there are therapies that can extend Alex Trebek's life
- Jeopardy host said Wednesday he has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer
- Mortality rate at AdventHealth Tampa is one-sixth the state and national average
- More Health headlines
"Now normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this," he said in a video.
Part of that survival rate depends on where the patient seeks treatment.
The national average survival rate for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer is between eight to 13 months. At AdventHealth Tampa, the survival rate is two and a half times that.
Dr. Alex Rosemurgy says he has performed more pancreatic surgeries than anyone else in the nation.
"We have a number of trials and protocols that we’ve used over the years, which now find their way into mainstream therapies," Rosemurgy said. "So I would say, yes, we are on the cutting edge of what is going on in America today with regards to pancreatic cancer."
Dr. Alex Rosemurgy and Carlie Kitzmiller (Josh Rojas/Spectrum Bay News 9)
Forty-year-old Carlie Kitzmiller is living proof that pancreatic cancer is survivable.
She was diagnosed 15 years ago, just after getting married, with Stage 1.
Since the cancer was caught early, Kitzmiller has beaten the odds.
"I'm proud to be part of that seven-and-half to eight percent that survive," she said. "I'm proud every day, I'm thankful every day. Living after that is very difficult. I have very hard days."
Rosemurgy says Trebek's cancer is too far along for surgery, but said there are therapies that could extend his life.
The mortality rate at AdventHealth Tampa is one-sixth the state and national average.
Doctors at that hospital can see newly diagnosed patients within five business days.