Monday, October 20, 2014
Saturday, October 04, 2008 Bella7177, Community Member, asks

Q: can skin cancer develop under finger and toe nails?

I have recently noticed a small, reddish-brown spot under the nail of the big toe on my right foot.  It is not on, but under the surface of the nail, and irregular in shape. 

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Answers (3)
dk, Community Member
1/ 9/09 10:50am

can skin cancer develop under finger and toe nails?

I have recently noticed a small, reddish-brown spot under the nail of the big toe on my right foot.  It is not on, but under the surface of the nail, and irregular in shape

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DG, Community Member
3/12/09 12:58pm

Yes it can.  My mother developed a lump under her fingernail which turned out to be cancerous and had the end of her finger amputated just above the second finger joint.  She is fine now and the cancer had not spread, she still goes for check ups and did not have to undergo chemo or radio therapy.  It took a lot to persaude the doctor to have it looked at and only after removal of her nail and a further biopsy did they do anything.

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Sandy, Community Member
3/16/10 3:59pm

Can you tell me more about what it looked like?  had a small divit or dent under my thumb nail and the nail itself was damaged although I didn't hurt it.  Now above the dent is a lump under the white moon of the nail.  I am going tomake a doctor appointment but I don't want to force him to take the nail off and check it but now I'm wondering why your mom had to force him to do that and what made her more suspicious of it than the doctor and what did it look like?  I am so glad your mom did and that she is o.k. now.  Thanks, Sandy

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DG, Community Member
3/17/10 4:59am

It looked like a brown line from the base of the nail to the tip of the nail as though someone had drawn a line with a felt tip pen.  It was like that for years before spreading outwards, and then a bump appeared near the tip of the nail, it was only when this started to catch on things did it start to hurt and bleed.  When I started to look on the net did I think it may be more than it seemed.  I searched for brown line on nail, and found that it is something more common in black people and more so on the toe nail so with mam being white and on her finger was somewhat unusal.

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sorethumb, Community Member
3/17/14 10:33am

I smashed my right thumb nail in a heavy drawer in Dec '10. Immediately it started to go crazy with pain.  Over the course of three weeks or so I had a big growth under my nail and it was pushing the nail off.  It hurt really bad and my thumb was  very swollen and mis-shapped.  I went to a few doctors and they thought it was a wart, so they tried different things. Finally a doctor took the nail off and did a biopsy and it came back squamous cell carcinoma.  They did MOHS on me and all was good.

Now, three years later almost to the day ..on my left thumb shows up a line from the bottom to the top with a small brown spot at the top of my nail.  This is causing the nail to split at the top and be pushed out.  I believe it is the beginning of it again...without the smashing injury. 

I will go to the doctor again now and report back on how this goes.

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By Bella7177, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/20/14, First Published: 10/04/08