Beauty queen discovers bruise on her finger is rare, deadly skin cancer
A Chicago beauty queen got the shock of her life when a bruise on her nail turned out to be the same deadly cancer that killed Bob Marley.
Karolina Jasko, 21, first noticed a thin black line on her thumb during a visit to the nail salon in 2016 but she didn’t see her doctor until her thumb swelled up and became red from an unrelated infection several days later.
Concerned by the mark, Jasko’s doctor immediately sent to get a biopsy which confirmed she had nail melanoma, one of the rarest sub-types of skin cancer.
“It was overwhelming because everything happened so quick,” Jasko told the Today Show. “It was so scary.”
Doctors say similar cases of skin cancer are on the rise due which they blamed on the popularity of gel manicures which require setting with harmful ultraviolet light and are frequently modeled by celebrities like the Kardashians.
Jasko, a beauty queen who went on to become Miss Illinois 2018, told the Today Show she was previously a nail salon devotee, getting artificial gel and acrylic nails cured with UV light once or twice a month for several years.
“They still don’t know where the infection came from,” Jascko added, saying the infection saved her life after it led her to see a doctor.
“If I would have waited longer and not come in with that, it could have been possible the melanoma would have spread.”
Doctors warned Jasko they might have to amputate her whole thumb but managed to save the digit, instead removing Jasko’s entire nail bed and used a skin graft from her groin to cover her thumb.
Cancer on the extremities — called acral lentiginous melanoma — is more aggressive than other melanomas and killed reggae legend Marley in 1981 after he discovered a dark spot under his toenail.
“It’s like tanning beds for your hands,” Dr. Vishal Patel, director of cutaneous oncology program at the George Washington University Cancer Center, told The Today Show.
“We’re seeing a lot of patients having not only melanomas, but all types of skin cancers around the fingertips and the cuticles.”
The main symptom of nail cancer is a pigmented vertical streak on the nail bed.
Doctors warned nail salon devotees to wear sunscreen on their hands before getting UV-cured manicures and told drivers with long commutes to protect their hands the same way.
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