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Toenail Melanoma?

Forums Cutaneous Melanoma Community Toenail Melanoma?

  • Post
    Seashelly
    Participant
    Hello,

    I am currently concerned about a brownish/blackish growth on my 4th right toe. I think I have had it since August 2017, but didn’t think too much of it. Kept thinking it would go away or grow out. I was recently at the doctor for an unrelated illness and showed her my toe. She said it “didn’t look worrisome” to her, but any atypical markings on the foot immediately needs to be seen and evaluated by a dermatologist. She said it could be a bruise, it could be a mole, it could be blood, or it could be cancer.

    I have an appointment in 3 weeks. I am feeling very anxious and worrying if this is actually subungual melanoma. Here are a couple of photos of my toe:

    Toe

    I don’t remember any major trauma or injury to my toe, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t stub it or drop something on it at some point. I just don’t remember. I think that the spot has either grown or moved up – when I initially noticed it last year, I think it was mostly hugging my cuticle and that’s one of the reasons I brushed it off. Now I think it is bigger, but I don’t know if it is growing out (like a bruise or hematoma) or growing bigger (like a melanoma).

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has any insight as to what they think this may be on my toe. Again, I am super stressed and anxious and my mind is tumbling out of control. I understand melanoma is deadly and I fear for the future for me and my family.

    Thank you very much for your thoughts and time!

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  • Replies
      aaron_oakes
      Participant

      Seashelly, I am not trying to scare you but I will relate my own experience with you.  I play a lot of soccer and about 5 years ago I noticed a bruised large toenail.  This was not unusual for me as my feet and toes would get stepped on regularly playing soccer.   Eventually the toenail fell off and this is what I expected to happen, what i didn't expect was how hard it was to get the toenail to grow back normally.  I kept messing with it thinking I was dealing with scar tissue and this went on for 5 years.  I looked at your pic, unfortunately I don't remember what mine looked like when I thought it was a bruise.

      Fast forward to last winter; I noticed a small lump in my groin, this was followed by weight loss and digestive issues.  In November I was finally diagnosed with melanoma and a CT scan revealed several swolen lymph nodes throughout my abodomen and chest.  

      Here's the good news, you are getting it checked and that is the best possible thing you can do.  I had no idea it was even possible to get cancer under a toenail and waited entirely too long to get it looked at.  The earlier you catch it the better.  Also, it is very possible that it is not cancer.  I was shocked when I found out how common melanoma starting under nails was and I understand your panic, (check out Bob Marley's story). 

      More good news is that melanoma treatment has come a long way, just read a few of the posts on this message board.  It won't take you long to find several people on here that have been alive and diagnosed with melanoma for 10+ years.  Also, as far as treatments go they are not as invasive as you might think.  

      Be positive, and be proactive. You are doing the right thing by getting it checked out.  i have only been diagnosed for a few months and I'm sure some of the replies you will get from more experienced people will be more informative than I can be.  

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        Seashelly
        Participant
        Thank you so much for your response! I appreciate all of the time you took to write out your story. I wish you all the best in your journey to wellness and will be thinking of you.

        I am definitely getting it checked out and I am hoping I have caught it early, if that is, in fact, what it is. The uncertainty at the moment is nerve wracking. I am hoping it was some type of bruise or injury, but am still fearing the worst.

        Good luck with all you are facing and thank you once again for such a thoughtful and candid response. It means a lot to me.

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      Seashelly
      Participant
      I wanted to update in case anyone found this thread with a similar issue.

      The office I had an appointment with had a cancellation and I was able to see a lovely dermatologist this morning. She took a lot of time with me. She doesn’t know what this is under my nail and I am going to have it biopsied. She looked at it under the scope and said it is definitely pigment, not blood or a bruise. She is not sure if it is just a mole growing under my toenail or something worse. She said it lacks a few of the big defining characteristics of melanoma, but doesn’t quote fit into totally benign, either.

      So now I wait for a biopsy appointment. They have to call me to set up a date and time. Still very worried and anxious and thinking this is going to come back malignant. I was so hoping she was going to take a look at it today and just say, “Oh! It’s a bruise, nothing to worry about!” That was not the case. She did say if it looked very concerning or advanced to her she would have scheduled me for removal surgery immediately and she did not feel that was necessary. My impression after my appointment was it’s either nothing or an early stage of something.

      Now the waiting begins. Thank you again to anyone reading this and letting me vent. I am very scared.

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        PTgal
        Participant
        I am so sorry you are having to go through this. The waiting and the unknown are the absolute worst! I was diagnosed with mel at the end of December and my WLE is next Wednesday. The waiting is excruciating. Hopefully you just have a weird mole that decided to pop up and say hello. In any case, you’ve been proactive and are taking the necessary precautions. Sending positive vibes and big hugs to you!

        Laura

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