'Friends' actor James Michael Tyler shares cancer diagnosis

June 21 (UPI) -- Friends actor James Michael Tyler is sharing his battle with prostate cancer.

The 59-year-old actor went public with his diagnosis during Monday's episode of Today.


Tyler, who played Gunther, the manager of Central Perk coffee house on Friends, said he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 2018.

"I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones," the actor said. "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 said the cancer was first detected during an annual checkup.

"I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is prostate-specific antigen," he said. "That came back with 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."

Tyler started hormone therapy, which he said "worked amazingly for about a year." The cancer later spread to his bones and spine, leaving him paralyzed in his lower body.


Tyler attended the recent Friends reunion via Zoom and said the cast and producers are aware of his health battle.

"David Schwimmer has corresponded with me via Instagram," he said.

Tyler encouraged people to get regular exams and ask their doctor for a PSA test.

"My goal this past year was to see my 59th birthday. I did that. My goal now is to help save at least one life," he said.

Friends had a 10-season run on NBC from 1994 to 2004. The series starred Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry.

Friends: The Reunion premiered on HBO Max in May. The cast reunited again last week on The Late Late Show with James Corden.

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