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Subungual Melanoma referral

31 Oct 2018 23:35

Hi, I'm new here and worrying like mad. I had a fungal nail on my thumb with a light black line down the side, I went the docs twice and they said it's more than likely fungal as the rest of my nail was yellow brown and crumbling off. I was told to use a home remedy of nail applicator which can take up to a year. They don't like to give pills for fungal nail as I would need a liver function test due to the strength of them apparently. 

Anyway, I just carried on with my home treatment for nearly a year now, the black has thickened and is starting to raise my nail bed at the side. At the weekend, blood was spurting everywhere from and it was seeping blood all weekend. my nail went flat but stayed black. it's now raised up again with what looks like a lump of skin (I thought it was a blood blister) but smelling so I went to my gp again to treat infection if I had one.

saw a different gp and he agreed I had an infection and gave me anti bs. He then said he was referring me to a specialist and to expect an appointment within 2 weeks to be tested for menalona! 

straight away I went to Dr Google, I cannot sleep with fear, I'm 40 with a 6 year old son and no other family. I'm petrified that the black line has been there for well over a year and nothing has been done and it could potentially now have put my life at risk. Can somebody advise me or help me relating to this I'm so so scared waiting for an appointment and all I'm doing is imagining the worst.


Subungual Melanoma referral

1 Nov 2018 11:01 in response to louiseandfin

Hi Louiseandfin,

I'm sorry to hear your GP has taken this long to refer you and I can understand how worried you must be. 

Please don't Google - the information you find is worse case scenario and is well out of date anyway. Melanoma research is moving at speed these days and new treatments are being tested & approved all the time which means it's not as desperate as it once was. 

Can I suggest that any information on melanoma you want to read about is from either this site, Macmillan, the British Association of Dermatologists and Melanoma UK.

The good thing is that you have now been referred under the 2 week rule. Once you see the dermatologist they will have a good idea by looking at it as to whether it's something more serious than a fungal infection and if so, they will arrange to take a biopsy. 

Please try not to think the worst. I know that the year delay is worrying you but it's not necessarily any worse because of the delay. I hope the news you receive is good, but if not we are all here to help you. Please let us know how you get on,

Best wishes,

Angie (Melanoma patient, Stage 3 since 2009) 

Subungual Melanoma referral

1 Nov 2018 16:56 in response to louiseandfin

Ask doctor for tablets my doctor gave me have 1 a day for 2 months never had a problem with it since mine was bad fungal nail all nail gone plus 1 crumbled to's fixed ps fungal nail infection just shows in the nail you need to treat it in the blood stream tablets

Subungual Melanoma referral

1 Nov 2018 22:34 in response to AngieT

Hi Angie, 

Thank You for your reply I'm going out of my mind with worry 're the delay and reading how aggressive it can be.

Can I ask what happened with your diagnosis x

Subungual Melanoma referral

2 Nov 2018 08:35 in response to louiseandfin

Hi Louise,

Mine wasn't subungual melanoma, it was an existing mole on my shin that had gone almost black. This was 22 years ago when there was no treatment available other than surgical removal. Even though I had left it a year to see my GP the melanoma was still only very thin in depth & I was Stage 1. After 5 years of check ups I was discharged but sadly it returned as a lump in my groin 13 years after first diagnosis. This necessitated all my lymph nodes removing from my groin & pelvis (where another node was affected) and I now have regular check ups. Thankfully I am still clear so I'm hoping that's that but I'm forever watchful.

No doubt you have read the statistics - most patients don't bother with them as melanoma isn't predictable like some cancers and therefore every case is different & might follow a different path. For example, 50% of melanoma patients have the BRAF gene which has mutated (BRAF +) the other half don't (BRAF wildcard). Braf+ is more aggressive, however there is now targeted treatment that works on those patients as well as immnotherapy. Braf wildcard only have immunotherapy that works. I happen to be BRAF+ yet mine hasn't been aggressive because it took 13 years to return from Stage 1 to 3 and I'm still here 9 years later with no evidence of disease (NED) - that's how the stats don't always reflect reality for every individual.

The main thing is to get through the wait without driving yourself crazy. If you don't already practise it try yoga or mindfulness - anything where meditation is involved. Also keep busy with work and/or hobbies you enjoy. I do genealogy and it's saved my sanity over the years, delving into the lives of my ancestors.

I hope your appointment comes through quickly. Make sure you take someone with you as it's very easy to forget any questions you wanted to ask, or to take everything in that's said to you if you are alone. Good luck & let us know how you get on,

Angie x 

Subungual Melanoma referral

14 Nov 2018 09:24 in response to louiseandfin

Hi Louiseandfin

I wondered what the outcome of your appointment was as I too am waiting for an appointment next Monday for possible Subgungual Melanoma (2 week urgent referal). 



Subungual Melanoma referral

26 Nov 2018 23:03 in response to Goonie

Hi there

Apologies I have only just seen this so I hope your appointment went ok?

I saw the specialist 10 days ago, he took some name clippings for testing and referred me for a fast track plastic surgeon appointment. The wait was hell but I saw the plastic surgeon and the results from my nail clippings showed NO fungal. I immediately went into meltdown. 

The dr advised he will be making 2 incisions on my thumb to peel back my skin, nail and some of my nail bed. He said there is a chance it's melanoma but he's since lots that are benign so again, more waiting. The procedure is next Thursday, he did say they sometimes have an idea once the skin is peeled back, however, he did say I'm not showing any sign of Hutchinsons which is a positive to cling to. So it's an anxious 10 days now. My Dr has advised me to take a week off work after the procedure as it's quite painful if the paracetamol wears off once the local anaesthetic has gone and has stated I shouldn't drive either. I will keep you posted. Let me know how your doing.


Subungual Melanoma referral

26 Nov 2018 23:04 in response to AngieT

Thankyou Angie and I'm so pleased you have the all clear. Your response has been very helpful and I do appreciate it xx

Subungual Melanoma referral

27 Nov 2018 08:16 in response to louiseandfin

Hi Louise,

I hope you manage to keep yourself busy over the next few days to keep your mind off things. I also hope the surgery & results bring you good news. Look after yourself while you are recovering & let us know how you get on xx

Subungual Melanoma referral

7 Dec 2018 09:18 in response to AngieT

Hi Angie

i had the biopsy yesterday, it's not pleasant at all, on quite a bit of pain relief and my arm is in a sling to keep the thumb raised. He said he's fast tracked the biopsy to pathology so just a waiting game now, the surgeon felt confident about a benign result, however I am aware that the results is the only way to tell, so I'm feeling optimistic. It's either going to be a fabulous Xmas or the worst Xmas ever - fingers crossed xxx

Subungual Melanoma referral

7 Dec 2018 12:27 in response to louiseandfin

Hi Louise,

You must be feeling pretty sore but at least the surgeon has given you something positive to focus on. I hope you aren't waiting too long for the results and that they bring you good news. Rest up for now & try & enjoy the run up to Christmas. Please keep us posted. xx

Subungual Melanoma referral

24 Dec 2018 16:59 in response to AngieT

Hi Angie Just got back from the hospital, I have MM. I have a CT scan booked, lymph nodes biopsy and amputation for early Jan. It's PT3A (what does that mean) she said it's mid range but treating it as high. I'm floored xx

Subungual Melanoma referral

26 Dec 2018 13:19 in response to louiseandfin

Hi Louiseand fin,

So sorry to hear your news, especially at this time of year, however don't panic. I've accepted your friend request & I will send you a private message. Meanwhile, I'm a little confused as to your stage of PT3A. If it's T3A that means the melanoma is between 2 & 4mm in thickness (depth) - T3, and the A means it's not ulcerated (which is good). I don't know what the P refers to though. Did the consultant give you anything in writing, such as your histology report? If so, it may sound like gobbledydook but I can work out what it means. 

I will send you a pm,

Angie x

Subungual Melanoma referral

22 Jan 2019 18:39 in response to AngieT


I have been referred to dermatologist and is panicking if it’s melanoma, please can anyone let me know how you got on?


Edited on Tuesday, 22/01/2019 - 21.02p.m by Moderator Steph. Photograph removed by moderator in line with Cancer Chat’s terms and conditions.

Subungual Melanoma referral

7 Mar 2019 17:15 in response to louiseandfin


i hope you don’t mind but I have sent you a friend request .

im going through hell right now as I have had a brown/ black line in my little toe nail for about a year and I never thought anything about it as I always paint my nails so just ignored it. 

 Then read an arrival in subungual melanoma and it freaked me out! 

I paid to see a private dermatologist as I couldn’t wait for a GP appointment and then another wait etc. 

The dermatologist said he felt it was melanochyia a benign condition but I was to observe it for any changes. 

This was 7 weeks ago and it kind of reassured me. 

However I took my nail varnish off 2 weeks ago and I’ve now got another line next to this one! The initial streak is about 2mm wife and this one is about 1mm wide.

i am now freaking out again, emailed the dermatologist and he said he wants to see me tomorrow morning and will book me in for a biopsy!

i am now terrified it’s melanoma, he agrees it’s a possibility. 

I feel so alone right now as I’m thinking the worst as it’s been there for well over a year I recon. 

How is things with you?i can’t see any updated posts from you, so I just wondered how things are?