March 6 (UPI) -- Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced Wednesday that doctors diagnosed him with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
The 78-year-old said that though the prognosis for the disease is often not optimistic, he plans to fight and asked for his fans' prayers.
"Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working," Trebek said in a recorded message to supporters. "And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease."
Neither Trebek nor the game show offered any details on how his treatment would affect the filming or airing of Jeopardy!. He said he wants to recover soon so he can return to duties.
"Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years!" he said. "So help me. Keep the faith and we'll win. We'll get it done. Thank you."
The American Cancer Society says the five-year relative survival rate for distant pancreatic cancer -- which includes Stage 4 -- is 3 percent.