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Friends' James Michael Tyler AKA 'Gunther' shares shocking stage 4 cancer diagnosis

Central Perk Pop-Up Celebrating The 20th Anniversary Of "Friends"
Central Perk Pop-Up Celebrating The 20th Anniversary Of "Friends" / Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

Actor James Michael Tyler - the actor who portrayed the beloved bleach blonde coffee house manager, Gunther, on Friends - opened up about his years-long health battle for the first time, in an interview with Today's, Tyler Melvin, was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in September 2018 after a routine physical.

"I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is a prostate-specific antigen," he said on Today.

"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.'"

He learned the devastating news that the cancer had also spread to his bones. "For my specific prognosis, it's of course stage 4," he told Melvin. "Late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me."

"I missed going in for a test, which was not a good thing," Tyler noted. "So the cancer decided to mutate at the time of the pandemic, and so it's progressed." According to Today, Tyler, who is undergoing chemotherapy, can no longer walk.

Tyler now wants to help others, urging men to ask for a PSA test at their next doctor's appointment. "There are other options available to men if they catch it before me," Tyler said on Today. "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."