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‘Seinfeld' star Michael Richards reveals prostate cancer diagnosis

“It had to be contained quickly,” he told People.

Michael Richards

Michael Richards says he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018.

The “Seinfeld” star opens up about the diagnosis in his new memoir, “Entrances and Exits,” noting he was told he had stage 1 prostate cancer.

“I thought, well, this is my time. I’m ready to go,” he said in an interview with People about his reaction when he found out about his condition. “But then my son came to mind just a few seconds later and I heard myself saying, ‘I’ve got a 9-year-old and I’d like to be around for him. Is there any way I can get a little more life going?’”

Richards said his doctor suggested undergoing surgery to remove his entire prostate when the biopsy didn’t appear promising.

“It had to be contained quickly,” he explained. “I had to go for the full surgery. If I hadn’t, I probably would have been dead in about eight months.”

Michael Richards
Jerry Seinfeld (left) and Michael Richards (right) helped make "Seinfeld" a cultural phenomenon. (NBC)

“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States," according to the National Cancer Institute. "Prostate cancer usually grows very slowly, and finding and treating it before symptoms occur may not improve men’s health or help them live longer."

Richards said the experience was a catalyst for him to write a book. He also said he realized he had lived a long life and had a lot to say.

“I had over 40 journals I’d kept over the years and wanted to do a full review of my life,” he said. “I’m turning 75, so maybe wanting to do that is something that comes with being my age.”

“I wanted to connect with feelings and memory. I’m surprised at how much I was able to remember,” he said.

“Entrances and Exits” comes out June 4.

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

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