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Subungual melanoma: how to defeat disease?

Sometimes in the human body for no apparent reason wakes up the disease, mechanism of development which is directly related to the desire of a living organism to life. The manifestation of this insidious disease is that certain cells in an effort to replicate as would lose the sense of proportion, since, for unexplained reasons, to divide uncontrollably. The growth rate of such pathologically changed cells greatly exceeds the period of growth of normal cells, which leads to the destruction of other tissues and organs.

While benign tumors during growth gradually compress the surrounding tissues, malignant tumors are able to grow into, in addition to re-producing tumor foci. One of these tumors is subungual melanoma.

Melanoma – what is it?

melanomaMelanoma is a malignant skin tumor, a feature of which is the uncontrolled division of skin cells called melanocytes that produce the pigment melanin. Rarely, these tumors can appear on the mucous membranes. A feature of this disease is quite rapid progression and early onset of metastasis, which are very quickly spread by lymph and blood. Re-tumour foci, in turn, appear in the lymph nodes, liver, lungs, bone and brain.

This disease can develop from degenerated nevus, located in the place where frequently exposed to sunlight. However, sometimes the tumor occurs in other parts of the skin, such as melanoma of the nail can occur under the nail plates of the hands or feet, most often on the big toes.

Symptoms of melanoma of the nail

melanoma nogtyaExperts identify the following main symptoms of melanoma of the nail:

  • A small longitudinal dark stripe on the nail bed.
  • The gradual darkening of the nail plate that resembles a bruise, but with quite fuzzy boundaries.
  • Color change pigment spots: occasionally brightens or darkens.
  • Selection from under the nail, ichor or pus.
  • Detachment of the nail.

However, in some cases, the tumor is the color of healthy skin. No signs of the disease may occur before the transition of the disease to the stage of metastasis. The occurrence of secondary cancers can significantly degrade the overall health of the patient, causing pain in the affected orgnano, fatigue and weight loss.

Diagnosis of disease

komputernoe tomograficheskoe issledovanieDue to the fact that the symptoms of subungual melanoma in the early stages are similar to symptoms of a hematoma, and later – with abscess, localized under the nail, or with inflammation of the periosteum, timely diagnosis of the disease much more difficult.

In addition, in the event of metastasis and transporting them through the circulatory system, the process is faster, and the chances of successful treatment less. Somewhat slower is the process of emergence of secondary tumor foci, if the modified cells are carried by lymph. In this case there is involvement of lymph nodes, not internal organs.

Given all this, it is important to pay attention to any long-term healing of damage to the nail plate to get to promptly consult a specialist. Oncologist, after reviewing the blood work for tumor markers and nail after using the device, will be able to visually assess the nature of tissue damage and the need for histology, which is the most accurate method, but also the most dangerous, as it can cause the spread of metastases.

Ultrasound and computed tomographythe study intended to reveal the presence of metastasis and secondary tumor lesions in the lymph nodes and internal organs. If you suspect their presence in the lymph node is fine needle puncture.

The stage of the disease

Klassificeret stage of development of the disease oncologists as follows:

  • The first stage in which all changed cells are found in the surface layer of the skin no deeper than half a millimeter.
  • The second stage, when the lesion reaches the dermis – to four millimeters.
  • The third stage is the germination of tumors in the subcutaneous fat.
  • The fourth stage – the defeat of the periosteum.

The occurrence of metastasis in melanoma of the nail of the feet or hands can occur on the second stage of the disease.


The treatment of this disease depends on the presence or absence of metastasis. In the early stages of the disease the patient surgically remove the tumor and surrounding healthy tissue at the discretion of the physician. Most likely, it will be removed a certain area of the muscle tissue. However, to the question: do I need to remove the whole phalanx of experts disagree.

The appearance of metastases greatly reduces the effectiveness of treatment of this disease.

In the case of localization in the nearby lymph nodes may be recommended to remove those lymph nodes. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy are appointed at the discretion of the oncologist.

The importance of prevention

Great importance is paid to the prevention of disease, which, basically, is to limit the impact of UV on the skin. For this purpose, bright and chastely, try to limit sun exposure in the afternoon.

Also of great importance is the prevention of injuries of the limbs and close attention to your health, close family members who suffered this disease.