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‘Friends’ Star James Michael Tyler Announces Cancer Diagnosis

Credit: HBO & TODAY

James Michael Tyler, who recently starred in the Friends reunion, has announced he’s battling cancer.

The 59-year-old, who played Gunther in the hit sitcom, told TODAY that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2018 and it’s now reached stage 4, as it has spread to other parts of his body.

He explained: “I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones. I’ve been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years… it’s stage four. Late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s gonna probably get me.”

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Tyler continued: “I was 56 years old at the time and they screen for PSA, which is a prostate-specific antigen. That came back at an extraordinarily high number.

“So I knew immediately when I went online and I saw the results of my blood test and blood work that there was obviously something quite wrong there. Nearly immediately, my doctor called me and said, ‘hey, I need you to come in tomorrow because I suspect that you may have quite a serious problem with your prostate.”

When Tyler was initially diagnosed, he was optimistic, as he received hormone treatment that allowed him to ‘go about life regularly’.

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However, the cancer eventually spread to the actor’s spine and bones, which resulted in paralysis of the lower body. Unfortunately, this happened right at the start of the pandemic.

“I missed going in for a test, which was not a good thing,” he acknowledged. “So the cancer decided to mutate at the time of the pandemic, and so it’s progressed.”

Despite Tyer’s diagnosis, he continues to remain optimistic and is encouraging other men to ‘catch it’ in the early days.

“There are other options available to men if they catch it before me,” he stressed. “Next time you go in for just a basic exam or your yearly checkup, please ask your doctor for a PSA test. It’s easily detectable. … If it spreads beyond the prostate to the bones, which is most prevalent in my form, it can be a lot more difficult to deal with.”

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