A mother opened up about the ‘brown streak’ on her nail and revealed how it could have cost her her life.
It was the year 2019 when Elizabeth Misselbrook, 40, first spotted a straight brown line running vertically across the nail of the middle finger of her left hand.
After paying a visit to her doctor, Elizabeth was referred to a dermatologist who in the following months removed the affected nail for testing.
While the mom was reassured there was nothing to worry about, she knew something was off when her nail began growing back along with a “much darker and wider” line than the one before.
In May 2021, following another biopsy, the woman was diagnosed with subungual melanoma, a rare type of cancer that appears in the skin under the nails.
While the cancer was still in an early stage, the doctors told her it could spread to other parts of her body and put her life in danger.
“Because I’d had two melanomas which had been fully removed, they wanted to make sure it didn’t reoccur so they amputated it before the first joint,” Misselbrook revealed.
“I was upset when they said they had to amputate but I was really worried that I’d had two melanomas so I kind of wanted them to make sure it didn’t come back.
“I was resigned to it. I hadn’t felt unwell at any point and I hadn’t had drug treatment so I felt grateful. I didn’t want to get ill.”
She added: “I was worried about the long-term consequences like handwriting and playing the flute. I wanted to pay the flute but I want to live more.”
As it happens, the rare form of cancer under the nails only occurs in less than one percent of melanoma cases.
Following the successful amputation and the loss of her finger, the 40-year-old urged people to have suspicious spots checked out by a professional.
“Check your nails for anything suspicious that doesn’t grow out, a bruise will grow out,” she warned.
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