Coronation Street actor Jack James Ryan has told how he no longer takes anything for granted after his treatment for testicular cancer.
The star, who plays bad boy Jacob Hay, was just 19 when he received the devastating news that he had cancer.
And at one point, he admits, he wasn't sure if he would survive. But luckily, Jack caught the disease early and sought the medical help which would save his life.
Speaking to The Mirror, the 25-year-old said: “Every day I get on set I think: ‘Wow, this could have been so different’.
“I don’t take anything for granted anymore. I did before, but I don’t now – I know how lucky I am."
Jack studied at the prestigious Guildford School of Acting. It was during this time he discovered a lump during the Easter holidays at his mum's house.
Maranna and his older sister Rebecca who played Lydia Chambers in the soap, were both downstairs. He called them up and spoke to them about what he'd just found.
Jack admits, like many men, he felt embarrassed on his visit to the GP the next day – particularly when a young female trainee doctor was tasked with examining him.
The actor, who is also a keen musician, had surgery to remove his left testicle and was fitted with a prosthetic replacement before receiving chemotherapy.
He wrote a play Me & My Left Ball about his experiences, and says he was 'lucky' he spotted the lump very early.
He says: I didn’t need a lot of treatment afterwards. From finding the lump to being on the operating table took just two weeks. They moved so quickly."
He said that when he was first diagnosed, he feared he "wouldn't make it".
Today, life has moved on – and he's grateful.
"I’m living my dream. I’m just so glad that things turned out well and I’m grateful that I’m here. I’m loving every second of it.”
Jack was able to return to his studies just four months after the diagnosis, but his mental health was impacted and he stopped dating for a year.
Jack, who is in remission and has checks every six months, is a Teenage Cancer Trust supporter and urges young men to make regular checks on themselves.
Learn more about Teenage Cancer Trust at www.teenagecancertrust.org
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