"Seinfeld" star Michael Richards says in a new interview that...

"Seinfeld" star Michael Richards says in a new interview that he underwent a surgical procedure to treat his stage 1 prostate cancer diagnosis. Credit: Invision / AP / Chris Pizzello

Michael Richards, who played eccentric neighbor Cosmo Kramer on "Seinfeld," has a revealed a prostate cancer scare that he says could have been fatal. 

In his upcoming memoir "Entrances and Exits" (out June 4), Richards, 74, writes about being diagnosed with stage 1 prostate cancer in 2018, after a routine checkup showed high PSA levels, People magazine reported. 

According to the National Cancer Institute, prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, “is a protein produced by normal, as well as malignant, cells of the prostate gland.” The PSA test measures the level of the protein in the blood, which is often elevated in people with prostate cancer.

"I thought. well, this is my time. I'm ready to go," he told People. "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?' "

After Richards' biopsy, the actor's doctor recommended surgery to remove the entire prostate.

"It had to be contained quickly," he said. "I had to go for the full surgery. If I hadn't, I probably would have been dead in about eight months."

Richards told the magazine that confronting his mortality prompted him to write his memoir.

"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 [in July], so maybe wanting to do that is something that comes with being my age.” He added, “I wanted to connect with feelings and memory. I’m surprised at how much I was able to remember.”

In his memoir, he also discusses he 2006 incident in which he used a racial slur to confront hecklers at a stand-up show. The actor said he felt “immediately sorry the moment I said it onstage.”

“I’m not looking for a comeback,” he continued. “The damage was inside of me. So I completely stepped away from show business. It was a time to disappear and finally pay attention to where all of my anger was coming from. The most I could do for everybody was go home and get my" act together.

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