“Seinfeld” star Michael Richards reveals cancer battle, 'probably would have been dead' in months without surgery

"I thought, well, this is my time."

Seinfeld star Michael Richards is recalling the medical diagnosis that he feared could’ve been his last.

The actor, best known for playing Cosmo Kramer on the beloved sitcom, details his experience being diagnosed with stage 1 prostate cancer in 2018 in his forthcoming memoir Entrances and Exits, PEOPLE reports. In an interview with the outlet, the 74-year-old explained that his initial reaction to the news was that his life was over. 

"I thought, well, this is my time. I'm ready to go," Richards said. "But then my son came to mind just a few seconds later and I heard myself saying, "I've got a 9-year-old and I'd like to be around for him. Is there any way I can get a little more life going?"

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<p>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty</p> Michael Richards

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Michael Richards

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After an irregular biopsy, Richards explained that his doctor recommended he undergo surgery in order to remove his entire prostate because the cancer “had to be contained quickly.” 

He continued, “I had to go for the full surgery. If I hadn't, I probably would have been dead in about eight months."

His cancer battle is also one of the reasons that he chose to write and release his own memoir, which hits bookshelves on June 4. "I had over 40 journals I’d kept over the years and wanted to do a full review of my life," Richards said. "I’m turning 75, so maybe wanting to do that is something that comes with being my age.” 

He concluded, “I wanted to connect with feelings and memory. I’m surprised at how much I was able to remember.”

Related: See reclusive Michael Richards reunite with Jerry Seinfeld on first red carpet in 9 years

In an earlier, separate PEOPLE interview, Richards reflected upon the infamous racist rant that he went on during a performance at the Laugh Factory in 2006 — a topic that he also discusses at length within his book.

"I was immediately sorry the moment I said it onstage," he explained, noting that he doesn't expect to be forgiven for his past actions. "I'm not looking for a comeback."

Richards said he "completely stepped away from show business" as a result of the tirade, adding, "It was time to disappear and finally pay attention to where all of my anger was coming from. The most I could do for everybody was go home and get my s--- together.”

Entrances and Exits will be released on June 4.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.