James Michael Tyler, the actor who portrayed Gunther on “Friends,” has shared that he has been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
He made the revelation during an interview on the “Today” show.
Tyler said his doctor found advanced prostate cancer in Sept. 2018 during a routine physical.
“I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is prostate-specific antigen,” he said during the interview. “That came back at an extraordinarily high number.”
He said when he saw the blood test results that there was a problem.
“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.
The cancer has spread to his bones since his diagnosis, causing tumors to develop on his spine, “Today” reported.
He is not able to walk and is undergoing chemotherapy.
Tyler did not take part in last month’s “Friends” reunion in person. Instead he joined the cast on Zoom, E! News reported.
Tyler is using his health challenge to remind men to ask for a PSA test the next time they see their doctor.
“There are other options available to men if they catch it before me,” Tyler said. “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.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, prostate cancer usually grows slowly, but can sometimes be aggressive and spread quickly. There is no single cause of prostate cancer, only that the cells in the gland go through DNA changes.
There could be no signs or symptoms in early stages but in advanced stages, men can see symptoms including:
- Trouble urinating.
- Bone pain.
- Losing weight without trying.
Risk factors of prostate cancer include:
- Older age, usually after 50.
- Family history.
For more on prostate cancer’s risk factors, symptoms and treatment, click here.
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