A 24-year-old man posted a lighthearted video about married life on TikTok last month, and it ended up saving his life.
Alex Griswold said that multiple viewers reached out to him after watching his video, telling him to have a mole on his back checked out by a doctor because it looked cancerous.
The short video featured a bit about how in marriages, "back scratches always turn into pimple-popping sessions," which featured close-up footage of Griswold's back. Two TikTok users picked up on the abnormal shape of one of Griswold's moles and tracked down his email address.
Griswold — who has more than 497,000 TikTok followers — took the warnings seriously and went to a dermatologist a week after posting the video to get checked out. After the doctor performed a biopsy on the mole in question, Griswold was told that he would definitely need it to be fully removed.
According to Griswold, doctors told him the growth was "a moderately atypical mole continuing to change and heading towards melanoma." While there is still a chance the growth could re-emerge, Griswold feels thankful for his followers' attention to detail.
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NBC News reports that one of the two TikTok users who contacted Griswold was 23-year-old Lizzie Wells, who has had her own melanoma scare and is currently training to be a neurosurgeon.
"You don't look at your back," Wells told NBC. "Imagine if he hadn't created the TikTok about pimple popping?"
One of Griswold's latest videos includes a thank you to the people who reached out and got him to notice the irregular growth.
"TikTok saved my life," he says in the clip.
A similar fateful intervention happened in 2019 when a 17-year-old noticed something off about her father's neck while he helped her study for a biology exam. Alice Jenkyn spotted the lump on her dad's neck when he was helping her remember where the lymph nodes are. After going to the doctor, Jenkyn's father was diagnosed with metastatic oropharyngeal carcinoma.