James Michael Tyler, the actor who performed Gunther on Friends, reveals that he has stage 4 prostate cancer.
The 59-year-old appeared on Monday’s Today present to talk about his cancer journey. He was recognized in September 2018, he shared, however it was not caught early. It has since unfold to his bones and he can no longer walk. He’s present process chemotherapy.
“I used to be recognized with superior prostate cancer, which had unfold to my bones,” Tyler advised Craig Melvin. “I’ve been coping with that prognosis for nearly the previous three years.” However, “It’s stage 4 [now], late-stage cancer, so ultimately, it is gonna most likely get me.”
Tyler’s cancer was detected by means of a routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) take a look at — his first at age 56. A standard PSA quantity is round 1; Tyler’s was 654. (Doctors suggest that Black males or males with a historical past of prostate cancer get their first at 40. All others, at age 45.)
At first, he was handled with hormone remedy and he felt nicely. However, issues took a flip amid the pandemic when he “missed moving into for a take a look at, which was not a very good factor,” His cancer mutated and he suffered fractures in his bones, and tumors up and down his backbone. It led to paraplegia, or paralysis of the decrease physique. He’s at present present process chemo, which is “aggressively” preventing the illness.
Tyler mentioned he regrets not listening to his spouse, who has been his “energy in all of this. I might have gone in earlier. It would have been hopefully caught earlier. Next time you go for a only a fundamental examination or your yearly checkup, please ask your physician for a PSA take a look at. Caught early, 99 p.c treatable.”
He added, “I do not need folks to need to undergo what I’ve been going by means of. This will not be … a simple course of.”
Dr. Matthew Rettig, a analysis scientist and oncologist at UCLA who treats Tyler, mentioned, “With prostate cancer, it is a bit bit totally different from different cancers in that when it’s recognized early, it is nearly all the time cured. When it is recognized late, it is hardly ever if ever cured.”
Rettig did genetic testing to find out that Tyler’s sickness was genetic, not environmental. The actor later realized that his sibling had prostate cancer, however hadn’t shared his prognosis.
Tyler says his objective “this previous 12 months was to see my 59th birthday,” he mentioned, preventing again tears. “I did that. My objective now could be to assist save a minimum of one life.”
Tyler not too long ago appeared within the Friends HBO Max reunion particular — however through Zoom. He mentioned he did not need to make it about his sickness.
“I did not need to be like, ‘Oh, and Gunther has cancer,'” he mentioned. “I did not wanna carry a downer on it, you realize?” He mentioned he was “very completely happy to be included.”
He famous David Schwimmer and the producers have been conscious of his sickness. On the mega-hit present, he performed Central Perk fave Gunther, who carried a torch for Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel.
He’s appeared on episodes of Scrubs and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. He additionally Matt LeBlanc’s post-Friends sequence Episodes.
Read extra from Yahoo Entertainment: