Man's warning after 'itchy spot' on his back turned out to be advanced skin cancer

Jak Howell, from Swansea, was diagnosed with stage three skin cancer.

A man whose spot turned out to be advanced skin cancer has urged people not to delay seeing a doctor if they notice anything untoward.

Jak Howell, from Swansea, found an itchy spot on his lower back one year ago - but initially believed it was an insect bite. "On my lower back, I had a spot and it started getting really itchy!" he said.

"I thought it was just a bite, so I ignored it. Then I was in the shower and I scratched it and it bled, it was bleeding quite a bit. I asked my mum what she thought about it and she said 'that's not right' and said I should go to the GP.

"I was in such a state of denial, but I emailed photos to the GP - the appointments were by email during the pandemic - and they told me to go straight to hospital."

Jak has had several rounds of immunotherapy as well as major surgery on his back.

At Singleton Hospital in Swansea, doctors diagnosed the spot as a stage three melanoma.

"It's been an absolute whirlwind," said Jack, who was 21 at the time of diagnosis.

Jak has had several rounds of immunotherapy as well as major surgery on his back. He's also heard from doctors that his cancer has spread to the lymphnodes above his groin, so he will have to undergo further treatment over the next six months.

"I'm half-way through the year of treatment, it's not been great but I'm always trying to stay positive," Jak said. "Typically, people find out they have melanoma when they're at stages one or two, but I was diagnosed at stage three advanced, now I'm borderline stage 3/4. But I'm staying positive about it, I have to!"

Asked what his advice is for anyone that is concerned about a spot on their body, or something that seems untoward, Jak said: "My advice is just go straight to your doctor! Even if you think it's the stupidest thing, just go and see them. If it is cancer or something, there's lots of people to support you."