Skin cancer: A dark line on your nail could be a sign

Doctors advise that you should have your nails checked if there’s a change in shape, size or colour.

Skin cancer: A dark line on your nail could be a sign
© Getty/ Pornpak Khunatorn
Skin cancer: A dark line on your nail could be a sign

A woman received devastating news about a streak that’s been under the nail on thumb for years. She used to think it was a ‘cool streak’ until a doctor pointed out it was a symptom of a potentially serious health problem.

‘Oh, that’s odd’

Maria Sylvia shared on TikTok how she found out the dark line on her nail—which she has had for over 10 years—was cancerous. Being an athlete, Maria was a frequent visitor to the doctor’s office and so made nothing of it when no one noticed anything off about her nail, until one day. She said in a video:

No one really noticed it until one time a doctor did notice it. This was probably circa 2014, and they were like, 'oh, that's odd'. But you don't really fit the demographics.
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A change in the shape, size or colour nails could be a sign of serious health problems. Getty/ DouglasOlivares

It turned out, the dark streak was a symptom of subungal melanoma, a type of skin cancer that appears in the skin under the nail. Doctors believe the nail may have been cancerous for at least three years. In the video which has since been viewed over 14 million times, Maria added:

Melanoma can sit in a stage called in situ, which is kind of like stage zero, for up to 13 years. So it's very likely that this has just been sitting for 10 years and it's been maybe cancerous for the last three, it's kind of hard to tell.

Pay attention to your nails

Maria underwent a surgery to remove the cancerous nail together with parts of the bone. Doctors replaced the nail with skin from her arm. She’s yet to see how her nail would like after recovery.

Medics recommend seeing a health profession when there’s a change in the shape, size or colour of the nails as these could be early signs of a cancer or other serious health conditions.

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