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Melanoma Cancer: Signs, Symptoms and How It Can Be Diagnosed

By: Lifestyle Desk

Local News Desk

Last Updated: January 24, 2023, 19:07 IST

Delhi, India

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and is the leading cause of death from skin disease.

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and is the leading cause of death from skin disease.

If a black, beige or brown streak is visible on the nails, then it can be a sign of skin cancer.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in the cells that produce pigment (melanocytes). Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and is the leading cause of death from skin disease. It is usually caused by exposure to UV radiation from the sun, but can also be caused by exposure to tanning beds. Melanoma can develop on any part of the body but is most commonly found on the face, legs, arms and trunk.

When checking the body for signs of skin cancer, many of us may only think to check our skin. However, it’s important to check the nails, too. The changes in nails, often ignored, could indicate a developing disease. A person’s nails can tell a lot about their physical health, and if you notice a blackish-brown stripe down the length of your nail bed, then it can be a sign of skin cancer.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer which can develop under or around the fingernails and toenails. Although Melanoma cancer can be diagnosed in anyone, it is most likely to occur in elderly individuals." The USA’s National Institutes of Health states subungual melanoma as “brown or black discolorations of the nail bed".

How to check the nails, to detect the symptoms of melanoma skin cancer

Deep line:

According to the National Institutes of Health, if beige or brown, deep black streaks are visible on the nails of the hand or toe fingers, then it can be a sign of melanoma cancer.

Dark skin near nails:

When the skin around your nail turns dark in colour, it can be a sign of advanced melanoma.

Splitting of nails:

If nails start coming out or if the nail separates from the nail bed, then it can be a sign of cancer. The nail will slowly grow up and the white free edge at the top of your nail will appear longer.

Cracking of nails:

The nail starts to crack from the middle. If this happens, then it can be a sign of melanoma cancer.

Lump in the middle of nails:

You may also see symptoms of lump formation under the nails. It can be wide, deep or thin.

When to see a doctor?

If you notice any skin changes that seem unusual or find any of these above symptoms, then you should consult your doctor immediately. However, nail melanoma is often diagnosed at a more advanced stage than skin melanoma, it is possible to cure the disease if diagnosed at an early stage.

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first published:January 24, 2023, 19:07 IST
last updated:January 24, 2023, 19:07 IST
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