Friends Gunther Actor James Mi...


Friends Gunther Actor James Michael Tyler Shares Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis


12:07 22 Jun 2021

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James Michael Tyler

Friends actor James Michael Tyler was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 2018.

The cancer, which is now at stage four, spread to his bones and spine, leading to paralysis of his lower body.

He opened up about his diagnosis in an interview with Today.


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The Gunther actor revealed, "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."

Tyler revealed his doctors found the cancer during an annual checkup in 2018.

He recalled, "I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is prostate-specific antigen."

"That came back at an extraordinarily high number..."


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"...there was obviously something quite wrong there"

Tyler continued, "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.'"

Tyler is currently undergoing an aggressive form of chemotherapy to fight the cancer.

He's sharing his story in order to spread awareness of the illness.

"There are other options available to men if they catch it before me," he said.


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"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."

Tyler went on to reveal his illness is the reason he didn't appear in person at the HBO Max Friends reunion.

Friends reunion

Tyler explained, "I wanted to be a part of that, and initially I was going to be on the stage, at least, with them, and be able to take part in all the festivities."

"It was bittersweet, honestly. I was very happy to be included."


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"It was my decision not to be a part of that physically and make an appearance on Zoom, basically, because I didn't wanna bring a downer on it, you know?"

"I didn't want to be like, 'Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.'"

Tyler said the Friends cast and crew are aware of his illness and have been incredibly supportive.

Right now, he just wants to spread awareness and encourage people to get checked.

"That's my only reason for coming out like this and letting people know. That's my new role."


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"Keep fighting"

The actor said this whole experience has taught him a lot; "It's made me, personally, just realise how important every moment is, every day."

"And fighting. Don't give up. Keep fighting. Keep yourself as light as possible. And have goals. Set goals."

"My goal this past year was to see my 59th birthday. I did that, May 28th."

"My goal now is to help save at least one life by coming out with this news."

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