A California woman is speaking out after she developed a rare form of nail cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) after getting a manicure at a beauty salon.
In November 2021, Grace Garcia, 50, visited her new salon when her usual spot was booked.
During her manicure, the manicurist scratched the cuticle on her right ring finger.
“She cut me, but the cut wasn’t a normal cuticle cut,” Garcia said. told Today.com“She hurt me deeply. It was one of the first things that happened to me. I’ve been doing (my nails) for years and years and years. bottom.”
The mother of three children told the outlet that she could not remember whether the technician used any new tools during the service, but that the wound had not healed after three days.
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Over the next few months, Garcia visited multiple doctors, one of which prescribed an antibiotic that didn’t work. Then, in April 2022, a gynecologist referred a San Gabriel, California-based woman to a dermatologist.
Her quest for answers finally came to an end after meeting Dr. Teo Soleymani, a dermatologist at UCLA Health who finally made a diagnosis of skin cancer.
“She had squamous cell carcinoma,” Soleimani said. told Fox 11 Los Angeles“She had a high fever–You are at risk for HPV. ”
Despite months of frustration, Garcia’s advocacy for herself resulted in her receiving a Stage 1 diagnosis and early intervention. Soleymani performed Mohs surgery. same type of surgery First Lady Jill Biden recently underwent surgery and found a distinct padding around her finger, so no further treatment was needed.
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Soleymani says her situation is not unusual.
“Interestingly, nearly all finger and nail skin cancers I’ve treated have been associated with high-risk HPV,” Soleymani said. “It’s alarming – and it’s seen in young patients.”
But, he says, the HPV vaccine prevents the development of exactly this type of cancer.
Courtesy UCLA Health
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Approximately 1.8 million cases of squamous cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year, and the incidence of this disease has increased by more than 200% over the past 30 years. skincancer.org.
Garcia now urges others to take control of their health.
“I knew something was wrong, so I was fighting from day one,” she said.