Woman’s ‘bruise’ under fingernail turns out to be skin cancer

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Early Detection Saves Lives

Skin exams are crucial to detect cancer, and both self-examination and evaluation by a dermatologist are essential. However, even a manicurist can play a vital role in saving someone’s life. This is the story of a Scottish woman who owes her life to her manicurist.

The Story of Stacey Boss

Stacey Boss is a Scottish woman from Glasgow, who noticed a mark on her right thumbnail. She removed it, thinking it was nothing. However, her manicurist noticed a stain and advised her to get it checked by a doctor. After seeing a dermatologist, Boss was shocked to learn it was subungual melanoma. It is a rare type of skin cancer that occurs in the nail bed and can be deadly if not detected early.

A Silent Cancer

Nail melanoma is a silent cancer that presents itself as a dark streak in the nail bed. This streak can be mistaken for a simple bruise or a nail infection. However, if left untreated, it can spread quickly through the body and become life-threatening.

Nail Removal and Praise

Boss had to undergo a biopsy of the bed to remove the nail and part of the bone in March. The operation was delayed due to the pandemic, causing anxiety and apprehension for Boss. However, she was grateful to her nail technician, who introduced her to early detection and saved her life. Boss said, “She saved me. She is well trained and was very aware, more than me.”


Early detection saves lives, and in some cases, even a small stain on the thumbnail can signify a life-threatening condition. It is essential to be aware of any changes in the skin, nails, or hair and consult a dermatologist immediately if you notice any abnormalities. The courage and critical thinking of a nail technician like Boss’s can create a significant impact on someone’s life.

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