We recently said goodbye to longtime “Jeopardy!” host and TV legend, Alex Trebek, at the age of 80. He had become one of television’s most enduring and iconic figures, popular with millions of viewers worldwide and known for his impeccable delivery of “answers and questions.” He fought hard, even hosting episodes two weeks before he sadly lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.

So what exactly does our pancreas do? Simply put, our pancreas helps our body with digestion by breaking down fat and sugar. Pancreatic Cancer is relatively rare and often tough to diagnose in its early stages. According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer makes up 3% of cancer diagnosis’ and 7% of cancer deaths.  Alex Trebek was one of the thousands of people who lost his life to pancreatic cancer this year.  Trebek suffered from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer,  which normally has a one-year survival rate.  

So how do we get ahead of this disease? Like any other, we need to know the warning signs. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can include loss of appetite, unintentional weight loss, darker colored urine, lighter colored stool, itchy skin, blood clots, or fatigue.  As always you should talk to a doctor before jumping to any conclusions.  But, like any other cancer diagnosis, the sooner detected, the better.