April 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT

Actor Ryan O’Neal, who successfully battled leukemia in recent years, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. In an exclusive statement to People, the star of Love Story and Paper Moon, 70, said, “Recently I was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. 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.”

O’Neal continued, “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 affected so many.”

O’Neal’s diagnosis comes nearly three years after the death of his longtime girlfriend Farrah Fawcett, who died at age 62 from anal cancer. His memoir about their life together, Both of Us, comes out on May 1.

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