Changes in your fingernails and toenails that could signal cancer – what to look out for
Finding signs of cancer as early as possible can mean the difference between surviving the disease or not. Although there are some general symptoms of the disease that can occur regardless of the form of cancer, others are more specific. According to an expert, they can even affect your fingernails and toenails.
Bill McKenna, founder of Cognomovement, spoke to Express.co.uk to explain more.
He warned of discoloration of the nails, as well as a “dark streak” or “streak” under the nail.
“One unusual symptom of cancer that people may not be aware of is changes in the appearance or color of fingernails or toenails,” he said.
“While changes in the appearance of the nails can be caused by a variety of factors, such as fungal infections or trauma to the nail, they can also be a sign of underlying cancer.”
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He continued, “One type of cancer that can cause nail changes is skin cancer. Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, can sometimes show up as a dark or changing mole on the skin, but can also show up as a dark streak or band under the nail.
“This is known as subungual melanoma.
“Other types of skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, can also cause changes in the nails.”
According to Cancer Research UK, other signs of skin cancer to look out for are listed below.
A disease that won’t heal – It may appear transparent, shiny and pink or pearly white. It may also look red, painful, rough, and have raised edges.
Ulcer – It could be a damaged area of skin that doesn’t heal within four weeks.
Lump – It can be small, slow growing, shiny, pink or red.
Red spots on the skin – They might be itcy. Although they may be caused by other non-cancerous conditions, they are worth checking out.
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Freckles or moles – Any change in a mole or freckle can be a sign of a skin cancer called melanoma.
What should I do if I notice changes in my nails?
Mr McKenna said: “If you notice any changes in the appearance or color of your nails, it is important to see a doctor for further evaluation.
“While these changes can be caused by various factors, it is important to rule out cancer as a potential cause.
“The health worker will be able to conduct an examination and, if necessary, order additional tests to determine the cause of the change in the nails.
“If you are experiencing other symptoms in addition to changes in the nails, such as unexplained weight loss, persistent fatigue, or changes in bowel or bladder function, it is especially important to see a doctor as soon as possible, as these may be signs of cancer or other serious conditions. “.
Nails can also change their appearance due to cancer treatment.
The American Cancer Society says: “Typically, the treatment that causes nail changes is medication, but radiation can also cause nail changes.
“Different treatments can affect normal cells, such as nail cells, in different ways. And their side effects can also affect the nails in different ways. One, two, a few, or all of your nails may be affected.”
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