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Just diagnosed with probable subungual melanoma

16 Sep 2021 18:15


About five months ago I noticed a black mark on my big toenail but didn't think anything of it - I just thought it must be a bruise. A couple of months after that I noticed the mark hadn't really moved but again it didn't really register as a problem. Then in July, I noticed my toe had started bleeding/weeping so I went to my GP who initially put me on antibiotics for a week, which made no difference at all. Then they referred me under the two week rule to hospital. I was seen the following week and they operated the same day, removing the whole nail and doing a biopsy underneath.

Today I went back to get my results and was seen by the consultant and the skin cancer nurse. The consultant said my biopsy results aren't 100% conclusive but definitely suspicious of melanoma and they are booking me in to have a wide area excision ASAP. They said depending on the results of this, it'll either be no further treatment and monitoring or toe amputation and sentinel node biopsy.

 I'm a bit numb at the moment - it hasn't really sunk in yet. And I'm a bit anxious about the excision - they've said they'll need to take a bigger chunk this time including all of the nail bed. I'm just hoping they can book me in soon as the longer I have to wait, the more I'll worry. Happy

Just diagnosed with probable subungual melanoma

18 Sep 2021 09:09 in response to RachelMcm

Hello RachelMcm

I'm sorry to hear that you've been told you likely have melanoma. It's understandably a worrying time and many of our members here will understand this. 

I'm going to tag in one of our community members @AngieT ‍ who has been living with stage 3 melanoma for many years. I'm sure she'll post to share some of her experiences and advice when she can. 

In the meantime, I'd recommend giving our team of nurses a call next week to chat things through with them. I'm sure they'll be happy to try and answer any questions you have along with offering advice and support. If you'd like to chat with them they're available Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm on 0808 800 4040. 

Do keep in touch and let us know how you get on. 

Best wishes, 
Cancer Chat moderator 

Just diagnosed with probable subungual melanoma

20 Sep 2021 09:57 in response to RachelMcm

Hi Rachel and thanks Jenn for the mention,

I'm sorry to hear they can't give you a conclusive diagnosis and that they are going to have to remove a wider margin. The good thing though is that they aren't leaving anything to chance and are treating it as malignant until they know for sure. It may be that the initial tissue taken wasn't enough to make a definitive diagnosis so they are having to be more invasive to get what they need. There is still a chance it may be benign so don't lose hope. If you search 'Nail' or 'Subungual' in the Search Forum bar at the top of the page you will see similar posts and some have posted that their biopsy came back clear so crossing fingers for you.

Hopefully you won't be waiting too long - try to distract yourself with work or something you enjoy doing as it will help. Good luck and please let us know how you get on,


Just diagnosed with probable subungual melanoma

20 Sep 2021 10:42 in response to AngieT

Thank you Angie.

 I'm trying not to stress too much but it's tricky. The consultant really stressed the need to get the wide excision done ASAP. She even wrote urgent twice on the paperwork. Laugh

I will definitely update once I know something more.