'Friends' star James Michael Tyler who played Gunther reveals advanced prostate cancer diagnosis

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·2-min read

Watch: Friends star James Michael Tyler battling stage 4 cancer

Friends star James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther in the sitcom, has revealed he has advanced prostate cancer that has spread to his bones.

The actor, who played Central Perk boss Gunther in every series of the show, broke the sad news that his late-stage cancer was "gonna probably get me" on US show Today.

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He said he was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 but kept his illness largely to himself as it had been manageable until the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tyler said: "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 4 (now). Late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me."

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16:  Actor James Michael Tyler attends the Central Perk Pop-Up Celebrating The 20th Anniversary Of
James Michael Tyler has spoken about his cancer diagnosis. (Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)

Friends fans saw Tyler make a brief appearance in the recent reunion episode, but he had not spoken about his cancer at the time.

He said that when he was 56, he went for a PSA test that revealed there was a problem.

Tyler said: "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.'"

The <em>Friends</em> stars recently reunited for a look-back special.
The Friends stars recently reunited for a look-back special.

Although for a while his treatment had allowed him to continue his life near-normally, Tyler said his illness got worse just as the pandemic started to close down appointments.

He said: "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."

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The TV star urged other men to ask for similar tests so that they could catch any potential problems early.

He said: "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."

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