How is subungual melanoma diagnosed?

Is Subungual melanoma painful?

In 75% to 90% of reported cases, subungual melanomas have been found in the thumb and the big toe. But they can be seen in other toes and fingers. And they can be quite painful. Inflammation, a normal bodily process that fights infection or injury, can also be present.

How is nail melanoma diagnosed?

The diagnosis of melanoma is confirmed by biopsy of the nail matrix and nail bed. It can be a difficult diagnosis requiring examination by expert dermatopathologists. The pathologist should report whether the melanoma is in-situ or invasive.

Can Subungual melanoma be benign?

Subungual pigmentation can have benign and malignant etiologies. A common and important differential diagnosis is between subungual hematoma and subungual acrolentiginous melanoma.

What does a subungual melanoma look like?

Subungual melanomas usually appear as a brown or black streak under the nail. Typically, these streaks gradually increase in size and are usually larger than 3mm. Unlike nail infection or trauma to the nails, subungual melanoma typically affects one nail at a time.

How quickly does Subungual melanoma progress?

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a person waits an estimated 2.2 years from the onset of their symptoms until diagnosis of subungual melanoma. However, it is important to seek proper diagnosis, as soon as symptoms become noticeable.

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How aggressive is Subungual melanoma?

Subungual melanomas are fairly uncommon, and the lack of experience can result in an unnecessarily aggressive approach to treatment. While having an excellent care team around you is important, you remain the most important facet of that team.

Can you have melanoma for years and not know?

How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.

Does a nail biopsy hurt?

Dermatologists as a general rule don’t like to take biopsies of the nail unit, as they are difficult to prepare for and require a special setup. Nail biopsies can slow down the pace of your clinic, and the procedure is painful and inconvenient for the patient.”

What color is Subungual melanoma?

Subungual melanoma presents as brown-black discolorations of the nail bed. It can present as either a streak of pigment or irregular pigmentation.

Does melanoma grow with the nail?

Although rare, skin cancer, including melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — can develop under and around the fingernails and toenails. While anyone can develop melanoma on their nails, it’s more common in older individuals and people with skin of color.

Why do I have brown lines on my nails?

Melanonychia is caused when the pigment cells, called melanocytes, deposit melanin into the nail. Melanin is a brown colored pigment. These deposits are usually grouped together. As your nail grows, it causes the stripe of brown or black to appear on your nail.

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