Friends actor James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther, shared that he had been struggling with prostate cancer since September 2018.
Tyler shared in an interview that it was caught in an annual check up where he was tested for Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA). The test unfortunately came back with a high number.
Tyler urges others when taking their annual check up to ask their doctors for Prostate-Specific Antigen tests.
“[The test] 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,“ Tyler said.
He was called immediately by his doctor on suspicion of problems in his prostate.
Prostate cancer is a known cancer for males that begins in the prostate gland between the penis and the bladder; it is highly treatable in the early stages.
Tyler said that he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, and explained that the cancer had already reached his bones and spine that led to paraplegia, or the paralysis of the lower body.
“I’ve been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years. […] It’s stage 4 [now]. Late stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s gonna probably get me.”
Tyler mentioned his regrets for not undergoing the test earlier to prevent the disease from becoming incurable. Tyler mentioned that it would have been 99 percent treatable if it had been caught earlier— he advises others to go for a screening for the PSA test.
“I don’t want people to have to go through what I’ve been going through. This is not … an easy process,” Tyler added.
During the pandemic, Tyler missed his tests so the cancer progressed and mutated.
He said that he is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Tyler emphasized the importance of testing for PSA early to prevent further harm.
Tyler posted week two of his chemotherapy along with fundraising for his medication last Tuesday on his Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
“Just finished chemo round 2 last week! Thank you all so much for your outpouring of love and support. It means the world to me,” Tyler posted.
Recently, James Michael Tyler appeared via Zoom on the Friends reunion special. He said he didn’t want to be the downer of the reunion of the show but glad that he was able to take part of the reunion.
For ten seasons of Friends, James Michael Tyler portrayed Gunther, the manager of the coffee house where the main characters hang out.
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