Dustin Diamond star of Saved By The Bell has confirmed he has Stage 4 cancer after ignoring a lump.
The child TV star, 44, who graced screens playing geeky highschool student Samuel ‘Screech’ Powers in the popular 80s and 90s sitcom was admitted to hospital after his whole body was in pain.
Dustin, who lost his mother to breast cancer, is said to still be hospitalised in Florida after having various tests and the star is understood to have started chemotherapy.
The actor’s team confirmed the news on Thursday via his Facebook page. They wrote, ‘At this time we can confirm that Dustin does have cancer. Dustin will disclose more information once it is available and a plan moving forward is made.’
“It’s serious, but we don’t know how serious yet. He’s going for testing. He hasn’t been feeling well. He’s at an undisclosed hospital in Florida. We are hoping for a speedy recovery,” Dustin’s rep confirmed.
His friend Dan Block claimed the actor had “a huge lump on his throat” but was too scared to seek medical treatment – like many men who ignore worrying symptoms.
Dan is said to have told The Sun, “Dustin has cancer – we don’t know what type or how advanced – we’ll find out tomorrow.
“Right now we don’t know how bad it is or where it has spread. It started off as a tumor on his neck – a huge lump on his throat – and it was very visible. He was afraid of someone taking pictures of it and posting it online.”
Dustin continued to play Screech on the initial run of Saved By The Bell on NBC from 1989 until 1993 and kept the character going on multiple revivals including the 1992 TV movie Saved By The Bell: Hawaiian Style and the 1993 sequel series Saved By The Bell: The College Years.
He was also part of the spin-off Saved By The Bell: The New Class, which ran from 1994 to 2000. But last year’s Peacock reboot of the show did not include Dustin, while former co-star Mario Lopez did return.
Fans are encouraged to send their good wishes to the star and many already have.
One fan wrote, ‘Sending prayers. You helped build my teenage years and thank you for the laughs and for being a great character. I will be praying and God be with you today and every day. Thank you.’
And another added, ‘My fiancé and I were so sad to hear this news. We love watching saved by the bell still to this day. Keep your head up & keep fighting. You can do this Dustin. May God heal you & bless you.’