Subungual melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer that occurs in the skin under your nails. Subungual melanomas are rare, seen in only 0.07% to 3.5% of the people in the world who have melanoma. But these melanomas can spread to other parts of your body and cause death.
How aggressive is Subungual melanoma?
The key points to remember for subungual melanoma are: It has the same histopathological process as cutaneous malignant melanoma. Some studies suggest it is more aggressive than cutaneous malignant melanoma, but this is likely due to late presentation. It should be diagnosed using excision or an incision biopsy.
Is toenail melanoma curable?
Subungual melanoma is treated surgically. Your doctor will first remove your entire nail and then remove the growth. To date, surgery is the only viable treatment method for this type of melanoma.
Where does nail melanoma start?
What does melanoma of the nail unit look like? Subungual melanoma often starts as a pigmented band visible the length of the nail plate (melanonychia). Over weeks to months, the pigment band: Becomes wider, especially at its proximal end (cuticle)
Does melanoma grow out with the nail?
Many people first mistake subungual melanoma as a bruise. However, unlike a bruise, the streaks from subungual melanoma do not heal or grow out with the nail over time.
How long does it take for melanoma to spread?
Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as six weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun.
Can Subungual melanoma be benign?
While some patients will present with obvious signs of advanced subungual melanoma and require immediate referral, the majority will have benign or indeterminate pathology on initial assessment.
How long can you have melanoma without knowing?
How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.
Is a toenail biopsy painful?
Dermatologists as a general rule don’t like to take biopsies of the nail unit, as they are difficult to prepare for and require a special setup. Nail biopsies can slow down the pace of your clinic, and the procedure is painful and inconvenient for the patient.”
How do I know if I have toenail fungus or a bruise?
If the spot is black and shiny, it is likely a bruise and less likely toenail fungus, especially if you recall when or why that bruising might have occurred (example, if you stubbed your toe). If the discoloration is yellow, gray, or greenish in tint, it is more likely a toenail fungus infection.
What does a black spot on toenail mean?
A black spot under the nail can indicate a type of melanoma called acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM). These melanomas can appear anywhere on the body, including underneath fingernails and toenails. The sub-type of ALM that affects the nail is called subungual melanoma.
Does a toenail melanoma hurt?
Symptoms. In 75% to 90% of reported cases, subungual melanomas have been found in the thumb and the big toe. But they can be seen in other toes and fingers. And they can be quite painful.