A formidable 1% of all skin cancers, nail cancer is a rare yet potentially dangerous type of cancer which affects the nail bed and plate. Therefore, it is pivotal to become well-acquainted with its symptoms and risk factors, so as to be able to recognize it swiftly and take corrective action in a timely manner.
A brown or black line, changes to the color of the nail bed, deformation, or an unusual growth – these can all be signs of nail cancer. However, similar indications can come from other causes such as fungal infection, injury, or infections. It is best to visit a dermatologist for pinpointing the root of the problem and fast-tracking you to the proper treatments.
Although ill fortune rarely strikes in the form of nail cancer, several circumstances may enhance the likelihood of its occurrence. Amongst them, UV exposure along with having had skin cancer before, having a lackluster immune system, or a genetic inclination could all amplify the risk. Thus, those who have a record of skin cancer in the family tree or perpetually bask in radiation should be especially observant about protecting themselves.
The sun’s UV rays are the key contributors to developing skin cancer, such as nail cancer, due to their detrimental effects on skin cells. In addition to natural UV radiation, exposure to artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps can worsen the situation. This DNA-altering radiation carries the potential to catalyze malignant changes in skin cells when absorbed for a prolonged period. To prevent such damage, protective clothing is recommended for people exposed to direct sunlight for long periods. Similarly, sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 should be employed when venturing outside.
Individuals with fair complexions, an abundance of moles, and a past of sun exposure, are exceptionally susceptible to the causation of skin cancer – inclusive of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma – which in some cases may spread to the nail plate. Because of this, those with a history of skin cancer are advised to have frequent examinations conducted by a doctor of dermatology.
A body with a compromised immunological defense may be more susceptible to nail cancer. Individuals living with HIV/AIDS, undergoing organ transplants, or those reliant on immunosuppressive medications may be at heightened risk of developing skin cancer. It is therefore important for such individuals to take the necessary protective steps, comprising wearing suitable clothing, steering clear of excessive sun exposure and undergoing regular check-ups with their health care provider.
All in all, nail cancer is an infrequent form of skin cancer that can stem from a range of hereditary and environmental components. While this condition is scarce, it is prudent to be aware of the indicators, contributing factors, and proactive steps to ensure safety. Rapid recognition can prove lifesaving, so it’s essential to book an appointment with a dermatologist if any symptoms of nail cancer surface. For extra details regarding nail cancer, contact a medical professional.