Dana-Farber pancreatic cancer specialist talks symptoms, treatments for disease

Dana-Farber specialist talks about what makes pancreatic cancer so deadly

BOSTON — "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek shocked fans Wednesday when he announced he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Despite the grim diagnosis, the 78-year-old is keeping a positive attitude, telling fans he plans to fight it.

The disease has low survival rates, with statistics from The American Cancer Society showing the five-year survival rate for stage 4 of the disease at 3 percent. The relative survival rate compares people with the same stage of the disease to the general population. People with Trebek's cancer are about 3 percent as likely to live for at least five years after being diagnosed as people without the disease.

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Dr. Brian Wolpin, the director of the Hale Family Pancreatic Research Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, who specializes in gastrointestinal cancers, joined Boston 25 News to talk about the disease.