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Subungual Melanoma

12 Feb 2015 19:14

I visited the Doctor 10 months ago as I thought I had a fungal toe infection, my nail was discoloured, clippings were taken but they came back negative, no further treatment. Since then the nail had developed a thick black stripe and another nail just fell off so back to doctors I went yesterday. I am in a little bit of shock today as 24 hrs later I have an appointment with a skin specialist at our local hospital. I have read a few articles on melanoma on line and cant take all of it in yet - is there anyone on here that undestands this type of cancer?

Subungual Melanoma

15 Feb 2015 10:56 in response to Skeggie

It seems that it is not a common cancer, I have read about Bob Marley. I had not heard about it before so did not really take any notice.

Subungual Melanoma

15 Feb 2015 12:18 in response to Skeggie

Hi Skeggie, 

We have some information on our Cancer Help site about melanoma that I have linked for you here

You mention that the type of cancer you you are asking about is not common. I will ask one of our team of nurses if they can post here with any information for you.

Alternatively if you think it might be helpful to chat with one of them then you can call them Monday to Friday on 0808 800 4040 (free from a UK landline and most mobile networks). 

Best wishes, 

Cancer Chat moderator

Subungual Melanoma

15 Feb 2015 21:31 in response to Moderator Jenn

Thank you very much, I am much more positive today after reading some of the other posts about different types of cancer. I have decided to take one step at a time , it may not be as bad as my imagination and until I am told there is no point in worrying Happy I am very impressed by the treatment from my GP and the speed of the appointment so that is a load of my mind. - I will keep you posted, I have 8 days to go to my appointment. Kind Regards, Mary.

Subungual Melanoma

17 Feb 2015 12:10 in response to Skeggie

Hello Skeggie,

I am one of the enquiry team nurses. Jenn asked us to have a look at your post in case there was anything useful we could tell you. As you know, rarely melanoma can occur under the nail (subungual) and it could be a possibility with the sort of nail change you describe (a thick black stripe), but so could others things as well. So you need to be checked out sooner rather than later, but for now I don’t think it is certain what is the matter.

This is usually quite an unsettling  place to find yourself in. I think taking it one step at a time is a good strategy. When you see the hospital skin specialist (dermatologist) they will be able to tell you more. They may want to take a tissue biopsy in which case you would have to wait another week or two before getting the full picture.

For now, it may not help to delve too much into this type of melanoma because this might not be what is the matter. Sometimes it can be hard not to worry, but as you say it doesn’t help; people often say that keeping busy does.  I hope the time between now and your appointment passes quickly.

Do get back to the nurse team if there is anything you want to ask us. You can call us on 0808 800 4040 or ask us a question through our enquiry form here .


Best wishes,


Subungual Melanoma

17 Feb 2015 17:40 in response to CRUK Nurse Julia

Many Thanks for the information and advice. I am doing exactly what you say and keeping busy I will let you know after the appointment x

Subungual Melanoma

24 Feb 2015 20:53 in response to Skeggie

Saw the Dermatologist today and it seems that I have had a fungal nail infection for a long time and the black stripe on my nail is probably due to damage at some time. he was very thorough and took scrapings to test to be sure. I have a 4 month course of tablets and he is seeing me again in April. I feel a bit of a fool but he was very nice to me and said it is always better to get things checked properly (like you said:) So thank you for 'being there'.


This is a fantastic site and I will certainly be doing whatever I can for Cancer Research this year, you all do a brilliant job xxxxxxxxxx

Subungual Melanoma

13 Aug 2015 16:30 in response to Skeggie

Hi skeggie,

I hope you are well and all the worry is over. Don't feel like a fool. I'm fearing the same diagnosis for someone I know. They have had part of their nail removed and I can't help but assume it will be bad news. I pray I am wrong as it is a rare condition 

Subungual Melanoma

2 Nov 2015 21:54 in response to Dolly90

Hi! I'm new to this forum but have just had the top half of my right index finger amputated to remove a subungual melanoma, and am interested in contacting anyone else living with part of a finger or subungual diagnosis.

Subungual Melanoma

7 Dec 2015 02:22 in response to Skeggie

Hi I have recently had the first biopsy done on my right thumb I have had twin stripes for over 6 years and only recently went to the skin clinic. My first results have come back showing pigment and I am waiting for another biopsy this thurs (today being Mon) since the first biopsy my pigment has spread and a new line has appeared. I am very scared because of the change in pigment and the lack of information out there if you are not a doctor and dont understand the jargon. I hope all went well with yours let me know if you have any useful information or links that I could read. Best of luck from Australia 

Subungual Melanoma

26 Feb 2016 10:17 in response to chalmers30

Hey Chalmers30,


How long did you have the nail discolouration? Did your melanoma spread anywhere else?

Ive had dark stripes in my little finger for a good four years and recently noticed more stripes :(. I didnt think much of it before but im so so worried now.

How has your follow up treatment been? And how long did it take to recieve a diagnosis?


Sorry for all the questions!


Subungual Melanoma

19 Nov 2016 10:03 in response to janey2508
Hi all, I always bump my pinky toes all the time under the table or bed foot, one day I noticed it turned brown which I thought were just bruises. Thought it would go away but it didnt. Today when cleaning my toe nails I noticed that all my toes in my right food have the same discolouration. I googled it and found out about subungual melanoma and now Im so worried. I could not reach my gp so I called 111, they arranged me to be contacted by a gp. The gp asked me what I think it is, i told him that i read online about SM. He just plainly told me he is not worried, despite me telling him about SM. I badly need help Sad

Subungual Melanoma

19 Nov 2016 14:30 in response to mbkooij81

Hello mbkooij81,

Welcome to Cancer Chat. I am sorry to hear you are worried about subungual melanoma,

Perhaps you could actually make an appointment on Monday to see your GP and show your toe nails? It will help you feel better I think if someone actually examines your nails rather than speaking to a doctor on the phone. In the meantime, try not to worry too much - I am sure the doctor will be able to reassure you. 

Best wishes,

Lucie, Cancer Chat Moderator

Subungual Melanoma

11 Feb 2017 19:40 in response to Moderator Lucie
Hi everyone, Around two months ago, I noticed a brown mark on my big toe but dismissed it as a bruise. Still there and slightly bigger I googled it and found out about subungual melanoma! I went to the doctors today and he has said to contact my doctors (as I went to a walk-in clinic), explain and they'll refer me to a skin specialist. I'm really concerned that I've got this! Sad Amelia

Subungual Melanoma

12 Sep 2017 22:23 in response to AmeliaC
Hi, I am wondering what happened with this? I have a very similar story. I have had a bruise on my big toe for a few months but thought nothing of it. In the past week a brown area has also appear on the skin at the top corner. I tried to get an appointment with my gp but I can't get one for two weeks! I rang 111 but they told me it's probably just a bruise but to go to a walk in centre. I went to a walk in centre and they said they can't do anything and I need to wait to see my gp to be referred! I just want answers and fearing it could be SM.