Melanoma in Fingernail

OncoLink
Last Modified: August 13, 2012

Question

Melanoma can occur under a fingernail: Fact or Myth?

Answer

Christopher Miller, MD, Dermatologist & Moh's Surgeon at Penn Medicine and Rachel Woods, RN, Nurse for the Surgical Dermatology Program at Penn Medicine resond:

It is a fact that melanoma can occur under the fingernail. The cells that make the nail plate (the hard part of the nail) include some melanocytes, the type of cell that makes pigment. If these cells start to replicate rapidly, then can increase the amount of pigment they produce and cause discoloration of the nail. Other skin cancers, such as squamous cell cancer, can also arise under the nail.

melanoma can occur under the fingernail

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Sun Safety Webchat transcript.

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