A DAD of two has spoken of the importance of acting on rather than sitting on cancer symptoms.
To mark Cancer Survivor’s Day (June 6) Jack Williams credits research and early detection with his positive diagnosis five years ago.
Jack, who grew up in Solihull, was just 28 when he found a lump in his testicle.
After losing his dad and grandfathers to the disease Jack decided to make good on the promise he made to his dad and got it checked out.
As the lump was found early it was able to be removed with no further treatment required.
Jack said: “When I first found the lump in my testicle, I kept it to myself, but then I remembered the promise I’d made to my dad when he was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer – that I would take any symptoms seriously.
“After I, quite literally, sat on it for a few weeks before speaking to my girlfriend, I finally plucked up the courage to tell her and she said if I wanted to go camping that weekend, I had to make an appointment to get it checked out first.
“As I was en route to the Lake District I got a call from my GP to say that he suspected it could be cancer.
“My only real relationship with cancer was one where people died, so when I heard that I had it, my first thought was ‘oh this is it then’.
“It was all a whirlwind after that phone call – a week later I was in hospital for scans, and less than a month after my first visit to the GP the lump was removed.
“Mentally things actually got tougher after the surgery, as I didn’t find out conclusively whether it was cancerous for around six months and whether or not I would require further treatment.”
The 33-year-old said he was very lucky as the lump was found so early and he didn’t need chemotherapy.
Jack became a supporter of Worldwide Cancer Research, which contributes to a number of projects to help improve survival rates and treatments, and has raised more than £2,000.
Jack said: “Don’t be a hero, it’s really important that you reach out to someone if you’re worried or concerned.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a doctor – I went to my girlfriend who was able to provide me with the support and help me take the first step.”
After his treatment Jack became a father to George, who is now two, and Toby more recently.
He said: “Cancer just feels like it’s out to scupper all your plans, so to have firstly survived, and then to find out we could still have a family, winning is the only way to describe it.
“For me, surviving cancer was the easy part.”
For more on Worldwide Cancer Research visit: https://www.worldwidecancerresearch.org/support-us/donate/