It turns out TikTok can save lives instead just of potentially threatening them.
A TikTok influencer’s fans likely changed the course of his life after alerting him that two moles on his back looked like they might be cancerous.
Florida-based creator and software developer Alex Griswold, 25, posted a video to the platform in 2019 showing his wife, Melinda Griswold, rubbing his shirtless back. After watching the clip, two of his followers reached out and encouraged him to seek professional advice.
Griswold had never previously worried about his various large moles, but he decided to heed his fans’ warning and go get them checked out. A dermatologist informed him that his viewers had been right: The two moles were skin cancer. In encouraging Griswold to get them looked into, Griswold’s doctor told him, his fans had likely saved him from an early death.
“The doctor was like, ‘Whoever told you probably saved your life’ — so because of two kind strangers, I avoided skin cancer and this is the perfect reminder that the world is a wonderful place,” Griswold said in a viral 2020 TikTok video update about the development. The clip, in which Griswold shows off where the now-removed moles were on his back, has been viewed more than 5.8 million times and received over 1.5 million likes in the year since.
“TikTok really out here saving lives,” one person commented.
Now Griswold goes for regular six-month checkups, a routine he plans to maintain for the rest of his life.
“After the video was posted, I also ended up having another mole removed in the same year,” Griswold recently told Jam Press. “My doctor says that since I’ve already shown signs of atypical moles in the past, that I’ll have to always be monitoring my skin.”
He’s also begun taking better care of his skin and general health.
“I’m definitely much more conscious of wearing sunscreen and making sure that I’m not careless when spending lots of time in the sun,” he said. “I know that the video has helped others. I’ll occasionally have people reach out to let me know that they have also had moles removed after watching the video.