A WOMAN who ignored an odd mark on her fingernail for years has just found out she has a rare form of deadly cancer.
Alana Severs, 36, hid the "embarrassing line" on her nail with red varnish for years.
It wasn't until the Hampshire woman read an article online suggesting it could be a symptom of an unusual cancer did the panic set in.
"What I thought of as a frivolous pastime – reading an article in bed – turned out to save my life," Alana told the Daily Star.
Alana was so disturbed by the article that she sent screenshots of the nail to her partner.
The next day she visited her local GP who then sent her on an urgent referral to specialists.
A biopsy found the 36-year-old had melanoma and was rushed into hospital to have her entire fingernail plus 5mm of cancerous tissue removed.
Nurse Alana said: "Because it was just a tiny line I never thought anything of it.
"I always wore red nail polish to cover it up because I was embarrassed about it.
"Then reading this article made me panic. But I’m relieved I came across it when I did."
Medical staff at Queens Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth told the healthcare worker her nail needed immediate removing if there was any hope of stopping the cancer seeping into her bloodstream.
“The doctors told me it was brilliant that it hadn’t grown down into my hand," she said.
"By some miracle, although it had been growing outwards and the line was getting bigger, it hadn’t started growing down yet.
"So I was cured with a few surgeries."
On top of losing her fingernail, Alana also needed a skin graft from her arm to cover the gaping wound.
Pondering on her near-miss, the Portsmouth local said: "To think that my life was changed, just by reading an article.
"I could have gone another three years without thinking anything of it, and it could have spread and become deadly."
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