James Michael Tyler, a.k.a. coffeehouse manager Gunther on Friends, has revealed he has been “dealing with” late-stage prostate cancer.

The actor appeared on US breakfast show Today, where he opened up about the diagnosis he received in 2018.

“I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones,” he said.

“I’ve been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years. … It’s stage 4. Late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s gonna probably get me.”

He recently appeared at the Friends Reunion via Zoom and in the interview he clarified that he was unable to appear in person due to his illness.

“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,” Mr Tyler said.

“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?”

He revealed that he has begun hormone therapy, which “worked amazingly for about a year,” allowing him to “go about life regularly” while on medication.

“All I had to do was take a pill in the morning and the night, and boom, life was pretty much normal,” he said.

“So the cancer decided to mutate at the time of the pandemic, and so it’s progressed.”

He said that he’s sharing his story to encourage people to get checked.

“There are other options available to men if they catch it before me,” Mr Tyler said. “Next time you go in for just a basic exam or your yearly checkup, please ask your doctor for a PSA (prostate specific antigen) 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.”

Head here to watch the full interview.