Toenail Melanoma


Diagnosing Early Is Key

Toenail melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops under the nail. Although it is rare, it can be very serious if left untreated. Therefore, it is extremely important to diagnose it early and correctly, and then treat it immediately. We’re here to help.

How to Recognize It

Toenail melanoma often goes ignored by patients who confuse it with fungal or bacterial infections. It is therefore important to check your feet often because there are symptoms to look out for that can make diagnosis easier for our doctors.

Warning signs include:

  • Black or brown bands of color that increase in size over time
  • Change in skin pigment, with darkening around the affected nail
  • Splitting or bleeding nail
  • Drainage or pus
  • Pain
  • Delayed healing of nail lesions or trauma
  • Separation of the nail from the nail bed
  • Deterioration of the nail (nail dystrophy)

How to Treat It

After performing an initial assessment, we’ll take a nail biopsy which can involve removing some or all of the nail. If there’s a diagnosis of cancer, we’ll determine its severity and how early it was found. Based on that information, we’ll discuss the right treatment for you, which can include:

  • Surgery to remove the affected nail
  • Amputation of the knuckle of the toe
  • Amputation of the entire toe
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy
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