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Report: “Friends” actor James Michael Tyler’s cancer diagnosis

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Tyler said his diagnosis prevented him from appearing in person at the “Friends” HBO Max reunion in late May.

WASHINGTON The actor who played Gunther in the hit television series “Friends”, James Michael Tyler, revealed on Monday that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

In an interview with the TODAY show, Tyler said he was diagnosed in September 2018. After further testing, the former actor learned he had progressed and spread to stage 4.

“I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones,” Tyler told TODAY’s Craig Melvin. “I’ve been dealing with this diagnosis for almost three years.… It’s stage 4 (now). Advanced cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s probably going to get me.”

Tyler said his diagnosis prevented him from appearing in person at the “Friends” HBO Max reunion in late May. He said it was his decision not to appear via the Zoom call rather than anyone, but said it was “bittersweet.”

RELATED: Review: The Tear-Filled Friends Reunion Doesn’t Offer Much More Than Other TV Reunions

He first learned of his diagnosis during an annual check-up. Tyler said the cancer ultimately spread just in time for the pandemic, despite hormone therapy.

He added that due to the coronavirus pandemic, he missed an appointment that “was not a good thing.” He said his cancer “decided to mutate around the time of the pandemic, and so it progressed.”

Right now, Tyler said he’s undergoing chemotherapy, but he wanted to stress the importance of getting screenings and tests to be diagnosed early.

RELATED: Special ‘Friends’ Reunion Trailer Released By HBO Max

the American Cancer Society recommends that men at medium risk be tested around age 50, while others at higher risk – including African American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer – should be tested before 40 or 45 years old. However, the organization urges patients to speak with their doctors before getting screened.

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



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