'A beauty therapist noticed a 'bruise' on my nail – she saved my life'
Stacey Boss spotted a thin brown streak on her fingernail and assumed it was a bruise, little did she know at the time that the mark was actually cancer.
But on the bright side, she jokes that she now gets a 10% discount on manicures, because she only has nine nails!
The 32-year-old mum from Glasgow found the mark that had been lurking under her fake nails on her right thumb and ‘shrugged it off’ until she was refused a manicure by a nail technician.
The nail tech instead advised Stacey to book an appointment with a dermatologist, so the mum-of-one hurried to her GP on November 27th 2019.
Stacey, a record label owner, experienced significant delays because of Covid, but on March 27, 2023, she had her nail and part of her bone removed and was diagnosed with subungual melanoma – a rare type of skin cancer that occurs under the nails.
Stacey breathed a massive sigh of relief but said that doctors have now suggested other investigations to determine where or not the cancer has spread to other parts of her body, like her lymph nodes.
She claims the nail technician prompting her to get it checked out could have possibly saved her life and that she now gets a shellac French manicure for a reduced price, due to having less fingernails.
The music lover is now keen to raise awareness of the importance of everybody checking nails for abnormalities as regularly as possible.
Stacey said: ‘If I get a discount, we call it a ten percent discount because I’ve only got nine fingers [nails].
‘A nail technician refused to do a manicure and asked me to have it invested with dermatology.
‘I was very confused, I didn’t know anything about how melanoma skin cancer could be in a nail bed. It was mind boggling.’
Stacey had gotten used to the bruise and said ‘it wasn’t until someone pointed it out that it was a big shocking moment’.
‘The nail technician possibly saved my life, she’s well trained and was very aware, more than me,’ she added.
Stacey, a rapper, had her first assessment in the last week of October 2022 and eventually had a biopsy of her nail bed and it removed in March.
Stacey said: ‘It was like a streak, it was like someone had marked my nail with a permanent marker from the cuticle to the top.
‘It was thin and skinny and almost as if someone had dented a mark on it, by the end it looked like a smiley face due to the shadow of the line, the dent and the way the cuticle grows.
‘It was weird how it just kept growing up, up until the point of removal that’s how it was.
‘The way it’s cut out has removed even down to the bone. It was such a relief to have it out I’ll tell you that.’
‘I’d accepted the possibility of losing my nail so that mentally I was prepared for it. I’d tell others to check your nails, maybe not a daily thing but every now and again.’
Subungual melanoma is a rare type of skin cancer that occurs under the nails.
Symptoms include streaks on the nails, colour changes in or around the nail, a bruise under the nail that does not heal, and the nails separating from the nail bed.
One of the key indications of subungual melanoma is ‘Hutchinson’s sign’. This is when a person has nail pigment that extends onto the skin surrounding the nail.
Source: Medical News Today
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