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Friends Actor James Michael Tyler (AKA Gunther) Reveals Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis

james michael tyler : gunther from friends reveals stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis

Sad news from the Friends cast.

On the heels of the HBO Max reunion, James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther, announced that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. The actor made the reveal on Monday’s episode of Today, explaining:

“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.”

Related: Doctor Body Shamed & Ignored Her, Then She Was Diagnosed With Stage 3 Cancer

He went on:

“It’s stage 4 [now]. Late stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s gonna probably get me.”

So sad.

The 59-year-old recalled when he was first diagnosed:

“I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is 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.'”

James shared that hormone therapy “worked amazingly for about a year,” allowing him to “go about life regularly”:

“All I had to do was take a pill in the morning and the night, and boom, life was pretty much normal. … I had it then, but [was] able to function normally. … I was feeling fine, honestly. I had no symptoms, I didn’t feel any symptoms. And it was very easy to regulate.”

Unfortunately, his condition worsened over the last year, he disclosed:

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

The sitcom alum is currently undergoing chemotherapy to “aggressively” fight the cancer after it spread to his bones and spines, leading to paralysis of his lower body. As one of the most beloved secondary characters in the Friends universe, he ended up joining the reunion remotely via Zoom. He shared:

“I wanted to be a part of that, and initially I was going to be on the stage, at least, with them, and be able to take part in all the festivities. It was bittersweet, honestly. I was very happy to be included. It was my decision not to be a part of that physically and make an appearance on Zoom, basically, because I didn’t wanna bring a downer on it, you know? … I didn’t want to be like, ‘Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.'”

Now, James is dedicated to raising awareness for prostate cancer screening. He told Today:

“There are other options available to men if they catch it before me. 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.”

Related: James Corden ‘Nearly Killed’ The Friends Cast Doing Carpool Karaoke! Watch!

He added:

“A lot of men, if they catch this early, it’s easily treatable. I don’t want people to have to go through what I’ve been going through. This is not … an easy process.”

He reflected that saving “just one life” with his message was his “only reason for coming out like this and letting people know.” He remarked:

“It’s made me, personally, just realize how important every moment is, every day. And fighting. Don’t give up. Keep fighting. Keep yourself as light as possible. And have goals. Set goals. My goal this past year was to see my 59th birthday. I did that, May 28th. My goal now is to help save at least one life by coming out with this news.”

Wow. We are so sorry to hear about James’s suffering, and so inspired by his message. We hope that people take his words seriously and stay proactive about their own health. Wishing him the best of luck and thinking of him as he continues this battle.

Ch-ch-check out his Today segment (below):

[Image via NBC/TBS/YouTube]

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Jun 21, 2021 08:40am PDT

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