An American woman’s account of how she discovered a rare cancer went viral on social media. After living for 10 years with a dark scratch on her thumbnail, she started to worry when the spot got bigger and darker.
Maria Sylvia says that she consulted with some doctors to find out what the mark was, but the diagnosis only came with a biopsy performed this year. She discovered that it was a subungual melanoma, popularly called nail cancer.
The video in which Maria tells about the disease had more than 15 million views in two weeks on TikTok.
“I didn’t have any problems and I didn’t feel any pain, so I thought it was nothing,” she said. “My friend encouraged me to have a biopsy and at the end of January I found out that it was a case of subungual melanoma. Basically, this is cancer under the nail,” she added.
I wish I were joking lol but i have some awesome photos #SmoothLikeNitroPepsi #theadamproject #cancer #darkhumour #fml #myjourney
♬ original sound – kooze
In another video, she updated on the situation, informing that she underwent surgery to remove the nail and part of the finger. According to her, the new test results revealed that there were no more cancer cells.
Maria reassured anyone who fears a nail mark could be cancer, but urged people to see a doctor anyway.
“I would advise you to see your doctor, but most of the time you are probably fine. This is a very rare, very rare cancer,” she said.
Nail melanoma is a rare type of cancer and accounts for only 1 to 3% of all melanomas. It can be noticed by the presence of a dark vertical spot that tends to increase in size over time, as in the case of the North American.
Little is known about the risk factors for this type of cancer, but it is believed to be directly related to genetic factors.
The diagnosis is usually slow to be discovered because this type of cancer is confused with bruises or fungal infections. This ends up implying late treatment and complications.
The classic treatment is the removal of the nail and the affected tissue through functional surgery. However, in more advanced cases, amputation of the finger and treatment with radio and chemotherapy may be necessary.