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If You Have This One Specific Mark on Your Fingernail, You Should Get Checked for Cancer—Immediately

Reader's Digest logo Reader's Digest 8/29/2017 Brooke Nelson

© Liticia/Shutterstock Although you might never think to check your fingernails for cancer, it’s lucky that one manicurist did. Check these other sneaky places where you can get skin cancer (that aren’t your skin) too.

“I had a walk-in nail client a couple weeks ago,” manicurist Jean Skinner wrote in a Facebook post. “She had a straight dark vertical stripe down her nail. She said as soon as she sat down—I need a color dark enough to cover this stripe.” Don’t miss the other cancer symptoms women are likely to ignore, either.

Other salons had speculated that the woman’s mysterious line could be due to a calcium deficiency, a blood blister, or a strange hereditary mark. Yet Skinner knew better than that. She immediately told her customer that the dark line was likely a little-known symptom of melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

“I did not want to frighten her but I told her she needed to see her doctor immediately!' Jean wrote. 'She called me today to tell me that yes it was a very aggressive melanoma that has already spread to her lymph nodes.” Unfortunately, the client’s prognosis doesn’t look good.

Now, Skinner is using her photograph of the nail (with permission) to inform and warn others.

“Please pay attention to abnormalities in your nail beds!!' Jean wrote. 'Odd changes in your nails can very likely be nothing to worry about, but sometimes it is an indication of a very serious disease… Early diagnosis can make all the difference in the world.”

Facebook user Lauren Ann had a similar experience. Last year, she shared a photo of her best friend’s thumbnail, which displayed a similar line down the nail.

If you happen to have a dark mark under your fingernail, see your doctor right away. And now that you’re looking at your own hand, check for these surprising diseases your hands might predict.

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