'Friends' Actor James Michael Tyler Battling Stage 4 Prostate Cancer, Lower Body Left Paralyzed
The actor who played Gunther on Friends has been diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer.
James Michael Tyler revealed his "aggressive" cancer during an interview with Today on Monday.
Tyler told Today show host Craig Melvin that he was diagnosed in September 2018, and doctors were hopeful because they caught it early.
When Covid-19 hit, everything changed.
The man who played the sarcastic coffee shop employee revealed the cancer has now spread to his bones.
"I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones," Tyler explained.
"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," he said.
Revealing he was only 56 years old when he was diagnosed, Tyler said the cancer was discovered during an annual check-up when they screened for prostate-specific antigen.
"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,'" the actor explained.
Tyler then began hormone therapy.
"All I had to do was take a pill in the morning and the night, and boom, life was pretty much normal," he stated, reminding Melvin he even joined the Today show cast for an interview in recent years.
"I had it then, but (was) able to function normally. ... I was feeling fine, honestly. I had no symptoms, I didn't feel any symptoms. And it was very easy to regulate," Tyler revealed.
While both he and his doctor were optimistic in the beginning, Tyler said the cancer mutated "right at the time of the pandemic."
Tyler told Melvin his cancer has spread to his bones and spine, which has caused his lower body to be left paralyzed.