Most individuals are aware of what they need to do to protect their skin from cancer and how to notice moles or any appearance in the skin’s condition as a warning sign. But now nail specialist Dr. Dana Stern is warning people that a change in the appearance of their nails might be the first warning sign of cancer of the nails. One of Dr. Stern’s patients, an African American woman named Julie, noticed that a light brown streak that was positioned across one of her fingernails was recently getting much broader in addition to becoming darker in color.
Julie didn’t waste any time getting an evaluation from a medical professional, finding out that she had nail cancer and needed to have her fingernail completely removed.
According to Dr. Stern, something similar to a skin mole can develop on the matrix of a nail. The most commonly affected nails are located on the big toe, the thumb and the middle index finger. Dr. Stern is advising people to be on the lookout for the appearance of any size streak on the surface of the nail that doesn’t go away.
This streak is usually very dark in appearance and its borders may eventually become blurred. Anyone noticing this type of streak on their nail and any sudden broadening or darkening of the streak should make an appointment with their doctor as soon as possible. Nail cancer, as with any type of cancer, is more easily cured when it is in the early stages of detection.