Actor James Michael Tyler, who portrayed Gunther on the TV sitcom "Friends," has been battling prostate cancer for years. His diagnosis came to light Monday as he appeared virtually in an interview with Today Show about his role at HBO's Friends reunion show this past weekend. In a heartwarming moment, actor Matthew Perry noticed that something was wrong and asked if everything is okay because sometimes people get sick during these things - but thankfully it turned out there wasn't anything serious going on and everyone had time to say their goodbyes before filming wrapped up!
"I've been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years," Tyler said. "It's stage 4. Late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me."
Tyler said the prostate cancer has spread to his bones. He was at an annual checkup when the cancer as first caught. "I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is prostate-specific antigen," Tyler said.
"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,'" Tyler said.
He decided to undergo hormone therapy after he was diagnosed with cancer. The hormone treatment helped him live his life "normally" for about a year, but then the pandemic came and changed everything.
Despite cancer and exhaustion, Toni Benson revealed that Tyler is doing well. After being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in July of 2017, he has been undergoing chemo treatments which have not seemed as exhausting this time around. He remains positive about his condition while continuing to work on new music for fans through social media channels like Instagram Stories where you can see him building Lego models or making fun videos from behind-the-scenes footage at an event."
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancers in men but some are more aggressive than others. The Mayo Clinic says prostate cancer can grow slowly and remain confined to the prostate gland or it may be an aggressive type that spreads quickly, depending on what kind you have.
You may not think about it often but as men get older, prostate cancer is a prominent concern considering that one in six will develop the condition. The good news though? Prostate cancer can almost always be treated successfully with surgery or radiation therapy if detected early on.
One should start screening for this type of illness at around 40 years old to have peace of mind and avoid any unnecessary risks posed by neglecting your health due to a lack of knowledge or misinformation!
The reunion was full of laughs and tears, but Tyler did not appear in person. He said that he declined the invitation due to his illness which caused him to stay home with a box of tissues by his side.
"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," said Tyler, who appeared via Zoom. "It was bittersweet, honestly. I was very happy to be included."
He said it was his decision not to be there in person or explain why. "I didn't want to be like, 'Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer,'" he said, adding that many of the former cast mates did know about his illness.
He hopes to share his story can "save just one life," saying that is his "new role."
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