In most parts of Africa, some common health defects are not rated serious until they start to cost a life, even at times attention is drifted from the main petty causes to superstition.
Do you have black lines on your nails? Regular or irregular – you are most likely to be suffering from cancer of the nail called Subungual Melanoma.
This cancer of the nail can possibly kill you within a 5 to 10-year span if no care is taken.
What is Subungual Melanoma
It is a fancy medical term for cancer of the nail – it’s a type of cancer of the nail sometimes mistaken for fungal nail or bleeding under the nail ( some are ) but if it fails to heal over time, please see your doctor.
Why does Nail Cancer happen?
We don’t know the exact reason. But these things increase your risk for it:
1. Previous injury to the fingers/toe
2. If you have skin moles
3. It may run in families
4. If you have a weak immune system.
5. If you have family members who have melanoma.
Symptoms Of Cancer Of The Nail
1. Fingernails or toenails are separated from the nail bed. This is a major sign that you are suffering from this deadly disease.
2. Lines increase above 3 millimetres in irregular size over time
3. Your nail pigment will spread into the skin surrounding the nail. Simply put, your nail colour will spread around the skin next to the nail.
3. Darkening around the affected nail.
4. The nail may be brittle, split or cracked.
5. The nail may bleed, or be painful.
6. Nail injuries fail to heal
7. The nail will deteriorate (nail dystrophy).
8. Nail changes may affect the skin. Some people may have had similar lines on their nails since they were a kid or may have had it for many years
If it were nail cancer, the line on the nail will be spreading and becoming wider, the nails will change and it may split/bleed/break.
But if you have any concerns about your nails, especially IF you have a line on your nail which is spreading, getting wider, and your nail is changing- becoming brittle, cracking, splitting or bleeding- PLEASE go and see a doctor Or a dermatologist. They will check it for you.
What Will The Doctor Do Black Lines On Your Nails
The doctor can take a sample of the nail for a biopsy- that means some parts of the nail would be taken to the laboratory and examined. If cancer cells are confirmed, you may lose that nail or the finger/toe may be amputated. This is just to save your life.
Do not mistake do mistake when you see these signs on your toes. The difference between other diseases that cause black lines on your nails is that they are noncancerous while subungual melanoma is cancerous. And to know which you are suffering can only be boldly defined after diagnosis.
However, note, that the other noncancerous types of this ailment don’t spread fast. This means the first symptom to identify the deadly Subungual Melanoma is, that it spreads to other nails at a faster rate and causes the nail to separate from the nail bed.
Other black lines on your nails can be a sign of other diseases such as benign tumours or Melanonychia which are not deadly but abnormal and have complications.
DO NOT WAIT till things get to this point. Do something now. See a doctor and get your nails checked out.
You may be saving your own life.
Thanks for reading.