Actor Dustin Diamond has been diagnosed with stage IV small-cell carcinoma.
This type of cancer is an aggressive lung cancer that can often be caused by smoking. The condition can be treated by chemotherapy and surgery if the tumor is small enough. In Diamond’s case, the cancer is believed to have initially begun elsewhere in his body and has since metastasized to his lungs.
Diamond is best known for his role as Samuel "Screech" Powers in Saved by the Bell.
Diamond’s team confirmed that he completed his first round of chemotherapy and will begin physical therapy; he is scheduled for more chemo in the future.
Although the stage IV diagnosis was highly speculated, representatives waited on revealing the news until doctors knew exactly what was going on.
"We all know it is, but we’re waiting for a firm confirmation. Then from there, we can see what the future is," an insider said earlier this week.
"We’re taking it step by step, day by day. Nobody is allowed to visit him at this time. Maybe one or two people, but there’s constant COVID testing for any visitors. So, no one can really visit. He’s been communicating to his close circle via video chat," the source said.
Diamond was taken to hospital earlier this month for pain and feared a cancer diagnosis, as the disease runs in his family. He sadly lost his mother to breast cancer.
Within days, his team made the announcement.
"At this time, we can confirm that Dustin does have cancer," representatives wrote on his Facebook page. "Dustin will disclose more information once it is available and a plan moving forward is made."
"It’s not good, it’s not good at all. He’s going to be in the hospital for a while. He’s getting through his treatments now. It’s tough, it’s very hard," an insider revealed. "He’s going through a lot of pain, but he still keeps his spirits up. Right now, he’s just suffering. He has his ups and downs where he’s great one minute, but then he can be in a lot of pain — tears. It’s such an emotional time."
"Those close to him try calling him every day to try to cheer him up. He has a handful of people who are in his close circle — his girlfriend being one of them. They have no idea when he can go home."
Although Diamond was snubbed by the Saved by the Bell reboot, his former costars still sent positive vibes to the 44-year-old.
"I connected with Dustin earlier this evening and although the news of his diagnosis is heartbreaking, we remain positive that he’ll overcome this," Mario Lopez shared on Instagram. "Praying for him & his family and for a speedy recovery. God Bless."
"Thinking of you, Dustin," Tiffani Thiessen, who played Kelly Kapowski, wrote on her Instagram Story.
Diamond "received all the well-wishes from his Saved by the Bell costars, and he’s been really happy hearing that stuff," reps confirmed. He has also received fan mail since his condition was made public.
TMZ was the first to report the update on Diamond’s diagnosis.