“Recently I was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer,” O’Neal says in a statement released by his rep exclusively to PEOPLE.
“Although I was shocked and stunned by the news, I feel fortunate that it was detected early and according to my extraordinary team of doctors the prognosis is positive for a full recovery,” the statement adds. “I am deeply grateful for the support of my friends and family during this time, and I urge everyone to get regular check-ups, as early detection is the best defense against this horrible disease that has afflicted so many.”
This news comes after he lost his longtime love Farrah Fawcett three years past, who herself passed away of cancer. Now Ryan does have a memoir about his life with Fawcett called Both of Us coming out May 1, 2012.